South bid to Paint The Silence

Review by Jack Foley

THE Mowax label has been home to some of the trendiest artists of recent years and South, its latest and brightest addition, look set to continue that trend.

Think early Stone Roses meets Charlatans, with a little UNKLE thrown in, and you get somewhere close to defining the sound you can expect to hear.

In short, this is a classic alternative album; fuelled by great guitar solos, some heartbreakingly beautiful songs and the odd touch of James Lavelle to liven things up where necessary.

As of yet, singles have made little impression on the Ibiza fixated chart, while concert appearances have been restricted to supporting turns or one night stands at smaller, more trendy, venues such as Ocean in Hackney.

But boy are these guys trendy and they know their stuff. Most, if not all of the tracks on this, their debut album, are extremely stylish, with Here On In and Paint The Silence particularly standing out.

Here On In, especially, is a track which demands to be heard on repeat listen, boasting a brilliant chorus and some really Charlatans-inspired guitars.

Broken Head, the track which punctuates the album on three occasions, is another musical classic (and the point at which you can tell that Lavelle had a hand in things), while the slower, almost mournful, Run On Time is evidence of the versatility of the band - they are not just about loud guitars, or even slow guitars, for that matter. These guys are a diverse bunch and their music speaks for itself.

Live Between the Lines (Back Again) is another great track; a dreamy, mellow number which boasts a great drum shuffle, nice use of keyboards and some excellent acoustic guitars, as well as the type of vocal performance Brown and co would have been proud of back in their day. If you haven't heard at least five or six tracks that you like before you reach this point on the album, then there is no hope for you.

South, on this evidence, could be around for some time. Let's just hope the radio stations and music buying masses pay them the attention they deserve soon.

1. Broken Head I
2. Paint The Silence
3. Keep Close
4. I Know What You're Like
5. All In For Nothing (Reprise)
6. Here On In
7. Run On Time
8. Broken Head II
9. Sight Of Me
10.By The Time You Catch Your Heart
11. Live Between The Lines (Back Again)
12. Recovered Now
13. Southern Climbs
14. By The Time You Catch Your Heart (Reprise)
15. All In For Nothing
16) Broken Head III