Just a few years ago there was a spate of British rock bands that seemed to be the direct descendants of that rumbling brand of 70s/80s alternative rock music that was spearheaded by Echo & The Bunnymen, The Jesus & Mary Chain and Joy Division. This new batch of re-visits had a variety of successes, with bands such as Chapel Club and The Horrors signing to Loog Records, (an imprint of the major Universal label), but then there was a plethora of others who’s success hasn’t been so obvious. Wild Palms signed to the One Little Indian label but we are yet to see them fully break, while The Lyrebirds literally broke (up) just a few months ago – which we only found out when we noticed their guitarist was working at our local Brighton pub! These latter two bands were perhaps regarded as the best of them all, so this genre seems something of a minefield if you’re looking for career opportunities.
The next post-punk band lining up their sights are Binary, a four piece from London, and we believe they have all the right ingredients to hit those tough targets. The band was formed in late 2010 by vocalist, David Troster, after he left Yale University, (where he was studying molecular biology of all things!). Once he returned to London he hooked up with Francesco Bondi, with whom he began constructing and experimenting, before being joined by bassist Craig Lowe and drummer Jake Sorbie.
The band released their debut single, the excellent Turquoise, as a free download a few weeks ago, introducing us to their sonic guitars which soar over the genre’s trademarked slack basslines and rolling rhythms. Where we think they nail the style is in the their melodies, particularly in their fulminated choruses which seem to lurch forwards as Troster steps things up whilst the guitars detonate behind him. It’s like the verses hypnotize you and the choruses wake you. It’s as unsettling as it is magical.
They’ve passed us an exclusive for their next track, Dynamo, which is still at the demo stage, but once you click the below play button it will allow you to join the dots and clearly realise the path that they’re treading. If Turquoise is an excellent lead single, then Dynamo is an energetic follow up. It starts with a gatling gun of a guitar that tingles over your skin, before the vocals penetrate it. It has another thumping chorus, as Troster’s smart lyrics fix the tone, as he calls out “tell me secrets, tell me lies, make me hate you, make me want to despise your dynamo“. It goes right through you. We were actually scared to play it too loud.
It is early days still, so it’s very hard to judge if this band will be the next Horrors or the next Lyrebirds, but you can perhaps judge for yourself if you head to their début live show at the Shacklewell Arms in Dalston on August 11th. They’re certainly setting out on the correct route to success with this initial evidence. This is a very British sound, which stretches back over the decades, but for any band to really succeed it seems the secret is in fact to tap into the direction in which it’s evolving, all be it in small steps, so as to avoid sounding dated. We think Binary could well be the genre’s next exciting vestige, so if they continue on this path we fully expect that James Oldham and the boys from Loog Records will soon be at their gigs. (MB)
BINARY – TURQUOISE
BINARY – DYNAMO