The Rebs

In A Heartbeat

Written by: DR on 02/08/2010 22:50:17

In 2008, Southampton's The Rebs won "Road To V". Which, if I remember correctly, was a television show/contest aimed at young indie bands, encouraging them all to enter, with the winning band going on to actually play the V Festival - the ultimate indie love-fest. Previous winners of this competition include The Brightlights and Bombay Bicycle Club - if you haven't already heard, they are going to be the next big thing. This review isn't about them, though, it's about another bright (in sound and in future) indie band and their debut album "In A Heartbeat".

I'm not the only one who thinks so; music "pros" from Sony/EMI and Virgin declared lead single "Don't Fool Yourself" the "Best Pop Song" and "Best Overall Song" earlier this year at the Exposure Music Awards. You know what the best part about that is? It's not even their best song! (I'll let you know which one is later on).

What makes "In A Heartbeat" one of the best indie/pop debut albums I've heard in recent time? It doesn't score myriads of points for originality as it isn't doing anything that the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, The Pigeon Detectives, and perhaps even The Killers in some ways, haven't already. It's not really deep enough to be considered much of a musical "experience" or "journey", and, from a technical standpoint it's not exactly spellbinding. The excellence of The Rebs is in the simplicity of them. "In A Heartbeat" is readily-accessible indie/pop - and that's the point. All eleven tracks sound as if they were written with intentions of becoming a future hit, and you know what? The stand out tracks probably could. When you have an album of similar-sounding songs it's inevitable that certain ones will stand out: "Would I Remember" has bubble-y electronics underneath that really light the song up (such a thing could easily be said about the rest of the songs, but I feel it's more prominent here than anywhere else); "Superman" has all the urgency Arctic Monkeys seemed to have patented; "Always In A Heartbeat" has a retro feel, leaving it sounding like it was ripped right out of the 80s - NME tells me that's in now, right?; and the chorus of "Keep Smiling" pretty much defines the word "anthemic". Please, someone with pull, demand Radio One play this track over and over and over until everyone knows this song, that way I won't feel like an outcast when I stroll down the street singing, somewhat horridly, along with it!

When you have eleven (and one hidden makes twelve) songs, pretty much all of which following the same formula, it's inevitable that a few will stand taller than the others, such is the case here. However, those few, with the right breaks, genuinely could become hits. The others, though still operating somewhere between decent and good, get overshadowed - greater experimentation is needed in the future perhaps? Otherwise, this is probably the best debut album I've heard all year. P.S. the best song is "Keep Smiling".

8

Download: Keep Smiling, Would I Remember, Superman
For The Fans of: The Pigeon Detectives, Two Door Cinema Club, British indie
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 26.04.2010
Echo Deco

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