Watford quartet The Spitfires look set to continue their assault on both the independent and mainstream music charts with the release of A Thousand Times. Vocalist and front man Billy Sullivan has wasted no time delivering the highly anticipated follow-up to 2015's debut Response and once again comes up trumps.
Title track 'A Thousand Times' opens the album with a flying guitar hook alongside Sullivan's spirited vocal "don't want to face up to the facts, can't accept that you might not be coming back". 'Last Goodbye' follows and is a powerful track with a soaring chorus that serves as an early indication of the progression in song-writing whilst maintaining the captivating bite of their debut album.
‘Day To Day’ catches the ear with a "roll-up and shine" familiarity to the intro and is an absolute belter of a track. As Billy Sullivan spouts "don't bite the hand that feeds you, get your shit together" the track is driven to a pulsating crescendo and is an early standout. Speaking to Kulbritania, Sullivan commented “Day to Day is about this country's media and how they've made us paranoid and scared of people of different backgrounds, religion, class or status. People are far too quick to blame everyone else for their own problems. It's definitely the most politically charged song on the album”.
The delicate 'Open My Eyes' allows the listener to catch breath for a moment with the number showcasing both Sullivan's gentler side and the variation of the material on offer. Perhaps, this will be the track to command the mainstream radio play the young band merit. Sullivan shared an insight into the track with Kulbritania informing “Open My Eyes is a suburban love song. Roaming the streets, pissed and thinking of lost love - but in a very down to earth, Billy Bragg esque way. It's a hard thing to write about without coming across as cliche or soppy - so I took the approach to write in the way I'd tell my mates about it. A sort of 'I'm in love and I'm hurt but I'm still a geezer so get another lager in”.
Forthcoming single, the anthemic 'On My Mind' is another highpoint as the band pick-up the pace to warp speed with a catchy number featuring a guitar solo that leads the track to a crashing cresendo as Sullivan leaves nothing behind. Having already charted at number one in the vinyl charts, lead single 'So Long' appears a statement of intent as Sullivan sings "I'm gearing up for a brand new start". Delivered with attitude and complemented with some brass ‘I Don't Even Know Myself’has it all with punk and ska influences and again underlines the rapid progression of the band whilst 'The Suburbs (We Can't Complain)' ensures the band continue to hit peak after peak and has all the makings of a live anthem that will be bellowed back at the stage. The string laced ‘Return To Me’ lodges itself in the subconscious and sucks the listener into a sense of false security before an explosion of energy erupts through the airwaves. 'On My Mind' then commands a reprise before fitting closer 'A Better Life' raises hope and connects lyrically.
Ignore The Spitfires at your peril! Guitar driven, with frustrated yet controlled lyrical and vocal delivery ensure A Thousand Times is a refreshing album with back-bone. In Billy Sullivan the band have a front-man who is rapidly establishing himself as a voice with meaning that connects with the unheard working class across a nation force-fed spineless corporate claptrap on commercial radio stations that have long since lost their credibility.
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TXT: Bazza Mills
A Thousand Times | Tracklisting below (All songs are written by Billy Sullivan and the album is produced by Tom Pullen at CDS Studios in Chelmsford.)
1. A Thousand Times
2. Last Goodbye
3. Day To Day
4. Open My Eyes
5. On My Mind
6. So Long
7. I Don't Even Know Myself
8. The Suburbs (We Can't Complain)
9. Return To Me
10. On My Mind (Reprise)
11. A Better Life