Kings Of Leon’s American tour ended promptly when frontman Caleb Followill left the stage after telling fans he was going off to vomit and then drink a beer – rock’n’roll. He never came back, and KOL have not played since. However, upon listening to Secret Pilot’s debut single, Lucy, it’s easy to be fooled into thinking the US stadium-rockers have made a triumphant return from the depths of adversity – such is the aural resemblance.
Secret Pilot don’t take their inspiration from hoe-down’s at rodeos or days drinking moonshine from blues bars in the Deep South – they formed in Manchester. The four lads met at university while sharing halls together and have two EP’s to their name already. However, this debut draws a line under previous material and marks a new beginning in their nascent career.
While there are obvious comparisons to make, there’s nothing parochial about their sound. A-side, Lucy, is a great big bouncy slice of indie-pop at its best, with an anthemic, and slightly sinister chorus. “We’re going nowhere, this plane is coming down,” sings Alistair Harrison, as things soar to a crescendo. The accompanying B-side is full of creative thought – futilitarian lyrics, intricate riffs, switching drum patterns. No Sign Of The Truth lends the off-kilter complexities of The Strokes’ ingenious guitar solos, most notably Reptillia, with the aforementioned KOL penchant for an all encompassing earworm chorus.
This is an impressive debut which impenitently embraces the indie-pop genre without being lyrically moribund or musically vapid. Some may well make invidious comments about influences and label them as being pastiche, but a single like this is certainly a cogent riposte.
Words: Simon Butcher