This year we’ve seen several new bands plundering the 1990′s, with some admittedly mixed results, but also with some exciting prospects too. You can consider the likes of Gross Magic or Fractures perhaps among the more successful reflective bands as they revisited everyone from grunge to britpop respectively. Today we bring you the next group that are in line with this derivative style.
Francobollo bring us the next notch in this trend by staring into the 90s mirror without distraction. The specific area they’ve decided to channel is the East coast of America from that period, with all it’s slacker indie and rocker chords. The obvious comparisons will bring up Pavement, which isn’t ideal as the Californian band were perhaps the most flaccid of the grunge acts – why would you like to sound like Nirvana minus the energy, as that just misses the whole point. So it’s pleasing to see that Francobollo re-introduce a little animation to the obvious influences.
The quartet are being touted as an Anglo-Swedish operation, but they’re perhaps more accurately described as Swedish-Anglo, as Simon Nilsson, Sean Bean and Petter Grevelius all moved to the UK from Sweden in 2009 before being joined by the Anglo bit, Sam Bailey, on bass. They apparently go for it when playing live, often losing a t-shirt or two in the process, but that seems about right when you hear their active music. They’re also known to make their own artwork and videos, suggesting a bountiful well of creativity in which to find inspiration.
Nilsson can’t particularly sing, but that doesn’t matter. Just like many past frontmen it’s part of the charm – you only have to listen to the likes of James Murphy or David Byrne and you will hear voices that also weren’t particularly strong yet it didn’t harm them at all. You won’t hear a hint of a Swedish accent either, like many Scandinavians he chooses to sing in English, but what adds to the American comparisons is that he actually sounds like he could be from Seattle.
Their debut EP, Harpolma, is set for release on October 31st. In the run up to this there are several dates planned in London, including a lot of the usual underground hangouts, like The Old Blue Last (19th Aug), The Lock Tavern (29th Aug), The Bull & Gate (22nd Sept), as well as a mini tour of Northern Sweden in the middle of all that. Expect to witness their brilliant mixture of lo-fi, fuzzy thumps and claps, as they showcase their party.
The band couldn’t have dropped anchor at a better time, as this style of revival is being looked at enthusiastically by London’s A&R. However, if you’re to re-invent the masters of the 90s major movements then you need to paint something remarkable with them as your inspiration, although we’ve noticed that too many of the new bands appearing this year end up with something more akin to a photocopy instead. Francobollo definitely show more signs of life than most, bringing an exciting blend of creativity and confidence to what is ultimately reflective music. (MB)
FRANCOBOLLO – TRY
FRANCOBOLLO – TURNING 20
FRANCOBOLLO – PRETTY COLOURS