Arriving on a staccato wave of drums and guitar, ‘Near Me’ introduces itself as the sort of jagged post-punk offering that we’ve come to expect from Birmingham trio Mild Headache. All isn’t what it seems, however.
Though it might begin with the same angular intent as previous singles such as ‘Suit & Tie’, ‘Near Me’ wastes little time in distancing itself from the band’s earlier offerings also. That’s not to say that, as a single, it’s so far removed as to be unrecognisable, but it does feel like a big step up.
Harbouring a transatlantic sense of anthemics, there’s gritty elements of bands like The Strokes or The Cribs at play, whilst the influence of Modest Mouse, or even The Maccabees offers an understated tenderness.
It’s this deft balance that not only marks ‘Near Me’ as Mild Headache taking the next confident steps in their career, but also as elevating themselves above many of their contemporaries as well. And though this kind of big, bold anthemia won’t ever break any boundaries, it really doesn’t need to.
Falling somewhere in between ramshackle indie rock and heartfelt indie pop, Mild Headache don’t quite fill a void, as they do bridge the gap. And though there will be those for whom the band’s own brand of indie might feel a little familiar, it’s just that damn irresistible that we don’t really need to listen to their opinions anyway. Listen to mine instead.