Review : Redfaces – Messed up feeling

This band can, seemingly, do no wrong. I won’t bother harping on about the major label deal, the festival slots or how disgustingly, eye-wateringly young they are. Their music has already done the talking and, like few bands that get spun around inside the hype machine, it actually says something.

Redfaces have an ear for hooks that sound both time-tested and novel. The centrepiece of ‘Messed Up Feeling’ is a glimmering synthesizer line, that manages to collapse the entire history of British indie rock synthesizer lines into half a dozen perfect notes.

That synth-led bounce is something the band employed in their infectious previous single ‘Take It or Leave It’ – here, it is simply repackaged and given a jolt. ‘Messed Up Feeling’ is certainly more immediate than that track. Harry Lyon’s delivery is hurried and anxious, and as the track develops it becomes littered with mathy guitar squalls and scratches.

The motorcycle-chain bass guitar adds to the dance-punk Gang of Four vibe. It’s a credit to the production that this doesn’t fight with the pop sparkle, able to drive the song forward without overwhelming it. Lyon’s voice is the perfect fit for this kind of skittish indie rock – richly harmonic without being particularly showy.

Produced by Carey Willetts of Athlete, the track definitely shares the swift self-assuredness that his band display, particularly, in songs like ‘Hurricane’ (sonic similarities are also apparent). The one stumbling block is that, at two minutes and 39 seconds, it feels like the track is cut short before you can take it in. Rather than losing its lustre with repeat listens, they become necessary – each one sliding the slight track a little further into your consciousness.

An accomplished, perfectly-crafted indie rock song, ‘Messed Up Feeling’ is clearly just another page from the first chapter from this band. The danger is, perceptibly, that they get stuck there – their next release will show whether they can move onto the next.

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