Blue and green record exploding into shards

New York Kiss LP

Truly, Chichester is blessed at the moment with one of the most vibrant local scenes in the UK. At the forefront of this are Retrofect who, on the strength of this storming debut, will be a name the UK public at large will be getting to know well very soon.

Dark Disco is the order of the day here, every song propelled either by an outrageously funky groove or a melody so strong that each and every track – from the jaw-dropping opener ‘Lights On’ to the poignant ‘J.W.H.’, which closes the album – each will quickly become lodged in your brain and refuse to leave.

There’s so much about this band and this album that’s so exciting, so vital, that it almost feels like a privilege to listen to the music. From the water-tight rhythm section (which pushes the songs along, but embellishes with so many clever flourishes), to the inventive synth work (including solos, all too rare in rock these days), to clever guitar tones, to the shared lead vocal duties and lush, complex harmonies and song structures. It’s incredible that a young-ish band should come out with something this immediate and interesting at such an early stage in their career. It certainly raises the bar for young UK unsigned bands.

It’s impossible to name highlights on such a great album, but the sheer pop nous of ‘Her Body’ is impressive. The title track, ‘New York Kiss’ builds slowly before closing in one of the most satisfyingly-snatched codas you’ll hear all year, while ‘J.W.H.’ shows that the band can carry off a slower tempo equally adeptly, while the ending ‘You Deserve the Applause’ is spine-tingling.

It seems pointless to try and name comparisons (it would be much better if you hopped on over to their Myspace page, heck, just buy the album) but I suppose there are elements of a slightly brighter Interpol in Retrofect’s brighter moments, a little bit of The Smiths in the guitars. Really though, they’ve mixed a plethora of influences and come out with something that no one else is doing right now.

I cannot express enough though, that there isn’t a weak moment on this record. The mind boggles at what Retrofect might achieve if they improve. They’re streets ahead of most things this writer’s heard in the last few years already.

Guest article from Haydon S.

Written by Guest Writers on

Between 2003 and 2009, [the-mag] had regular contributors from music correspondents covering their local scene. You'll find them all in the guest writers section. The specific writer is mentioned at the bottom of each article.

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