If there is one new British band you check this month, let it be The Cinematics. I only found out about their very existance last month, but I nearly choked myself when I found out they’d be playing The Annex tonight.
I had a hunch that they would be pretty good live after having watched their video for “Break”, which is on their Web site. And boy, was I glad that I dragged myself away from a night of “Top Model” and “Top Chef” to go check them out–after all, those shows are going to be rerunning all weekend, but how often do you get to see a very promising young band in a tiny venue before they hit it big?
I cannot express to you how much I think this band has the talent to be a successful and famous group. Seriously, if The Editors can be the next big thing, than The Cinematics can be the next next big thing you haven’t heard of yet.
Lead singer Scott Rinning has an alarmingly pure sounding voice–the clarity and beauty of his vocal quality really draws you into the songs and gives their 80s angular rock sound a distinctive sound. It’s so refreshing to hear someone with a truly pretty voice–something that can be lacking in the day and age of fashionably “ugly-sounding” singers like Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
Although you will definintely be saying “wasn’t this off the last Interpol album?” during some of the songs, I think the music is solid, and thankfully manages to break-free of instant associations to predecessors somewhere through each of their songs. I really credit their ability to sidestep run-of-the-mill Joy Division comparisons to Rinning’s aforementioned beautiful voice…because lord knows if he sang songs with a droning voice The Cinematics would lose a melodic, and upbeat quality to their tunes. They’d probably end up sounding closer to something awful, unimaginative, and depressing like She Wants Revenge.
I don’t want to insult The Cinematics by saying they even remotely sound like She Wants Revenge–because they don’t. I’m just saying that so many bands are using a lot of 80s synth/ pop influences and making horrible uninspired music. But The Cinematics are an example of a band that can sound sorta “retro” but have the sense to do something that is also completely modern and ambitious. Songs like the epic-sounding “Brave” or the dancey “Keep Forgetting” are particular standouts. Also on the plus side, they look absolutely adorable with perfect haircuts and put-together outfits.
Their live show is tight–even though Rinning seemed to have trouble remembering the names of his songs this particular evening, often stating one song name and then immediately correcting himself by saying something like “Dah! I mean ‘Human’!”, but it was kinda cute.
Are they totally re-inventing rock and roll? No. But I think they are a solid band who have fine tunes that are definintely worth you checking out. With the right amount of publicity and buzz this band could really be headed toward stardom. I think they have the goods to go very far.