Sometimes Pop Music gets a bad reputation, it is seen as empty, disposable, not as ‘important’ as those bands that changed things. Then you remind said people that The Beatles and The Beach Boys were completely and utterly Pop Music and suddenly they are stuttering like a scratched record.
I have no fear of Pop, some of my favourite artists of all time fall into this category and I am always ready to experience more. Step forward Anteros, the musical equivalent of a bag of lemon sherbets, buzzing and fizzing with energy and life. Vocalist Laura Hayden channels her best Debbie Harry on an album that sounds like it could have been released in the New Wave period of the late seventies, early eighties, or it could have followed Hot Fuss down the pipe in the 2000s.
Both Blondie and The Killers definitely come to mind on storming opener Call Your Mother which sets out the band’s mission with the simple but brilliant line ‘We’re only twisting 21’ and cut and shuts it onto a massive chorus. What an introduction.
Ring Ring shows the confidence of a band producing massive arena filling epics, whilst still playing The Barfly, it’s a mix of dreams and reality, a band that knows what it wants and is staring into the sun to get it. Hayden shows her more vulnerable side with the refrain ‘I’m a fool for you, honey’ in Honey’s world of desire and yearning which shows that Anteros are not a one trick pony and Hayden has many shades of grey. Or shades of bleach, if you prefer.
Breakfast is a favourite, a grrrl anthem and when Hayden croons ‘It’s not that I think you’re boring…’ you know the killer blow is coming…’Cause
I’m not the answer’. Ouch. Brilliant. Ordinary Girl takes the foot off the pedal and adds a dramatic almost orchestral soaring sound. It’s almost a Mutt Lange classic power ballad, a kiss back to the eighties that Anteros never experienced.
Fool Moon is a welcome Duran Duran style groove, sonically as slippery as a (Union Of The…) snake with a bite to match. Add a strong Wendy James type vocal and as I found myself dancing in my chair, the neighbours probably thought I was having a wonderful party. Sorry neighbours, it just demands to be played loud and you can already see the festival crowds.
The climax ‘Anteros’ (the band’s name comes from a god of requited love and the punisher of those who spurn love’s advances, perfect for this heartfelt young crew) sends us on our way with another huge dose of attitude, bite, desire and dance.
The album’s kiss off ‘You’re twenty seconds late, I’m twenty seconds gone’ sums up the attitude displayed on this feisty debut. Perhaps later in their career they will explore darker places or deeper visions, but at this point, that is not what Anteros are for. They are for celebration and they are for dance. Your parents might not understand but with When We Land, the kids are definitely more than alright.
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