The Spitfires! A great name for a band that instantly conjures up associations of a target decorated World War 2 plane, victory and hope of a positive future for Great Britain (where did it all go wrong)? An image of the band in their Doc Martins, Fred Perry tops, Harringtons and the like reinforces my initial thought that The Spitfires are indeed going to be a band steeped in British sub-cultures from the past …punk, mod and everything else worth a tuppence. Debut album Response is a no-nonsense in your face welcome modern twist on the heritage of the past with evident influences such as The Clash and The Jam. Opening track, the aptly titled ‘Disciples’ confirms my thoughts in that The Spitfires are indeed firing modern bullets laced with some nostalgia. Front-man Billy Sullivan delivers his sharp lyrics in a vocal style reminiscent of a young Paul Weller and instantly the music connects with me.
Flying out of Watford The Spitfires are a four-piece consisting of the aforementioned Billy (vocals/guitar), Sam Long (bass), Matt Johnson (drums) and Chris Chanell (keyboards/vocals). With 13 tracks on the album, there is always a danger of fillers creeping in but after four listens I am yet to pick-up on any. ‘Escape Me’ hooks in the listener with some brass adding a further dimension to the track in a pulsating finale. ‘Spoke To Soon’ is a slow burning anthem while previous single ‘Stand Down’ is another high-point and as Billy sings “this is the future you can see” I think to myself this is the type of music the youth of Britain need to be raised on as opposed the crap polluting the taxpayers Radio 1 airwaves.
Having heard ‘I’m Holding On’ for the first time last year it is a catchy track I am familiar with while ‘Spark To Start’ is an early favourite with some tasty bass. Serenade Parts 1 and 2 are instrumental tracks providing the listener a chance to take stock with Part 2 also setting the scene perfectly for album closer and current single ‘4 am’. With some hints of The Enemy, ‘4 am’ is a real fan favourite in the making with the guitars and pounding drums bringing the impressive debut to a climatic end.
Politics and music are commonly linked and with Cameron’s youth and working class becoming increasingly disillusioned and frustrated towards Thatcher levels maybe it is just the right time for The Spitfires to bring some hope to the youth (to the music world at least) with their own “young idea” and kick the crap out of the record labels pushing the current charts. Front-man Billy Sullivan declares the album is a record of the time and is their response “to the current drought in meaningful music and lyrics, the attitude of the industry and the rose tinted nostalgia of yesterday's heroes”. With The Spitfires on tour later in the year I will look forward to hearing these tunes live.
To buy tickets for their UK tour, visit this LINK
'Response' is out August 21. You can preorder the album HERE
In other news, The Spitfires debut official video for new single '4 am'.
Words: Bazza Mills