A design for life
Sheffield has been home to a whole host of genre defining musical acts over the years. From the synth led stylings of The Human League and ABC, the intelligent and progressive dance of Moloko and Autechre, to perhaps one of the most defining bands of Britpop, Pulp; Sheffield has seen more bands rise through the ranks than most. With the resurgence in the interest of the Steel city, thanks to the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Reverend and the Makers, Milburn, Little Man Tate, The Long Blondes and a whole host more besides, the spotlight is finally back on the town, and quite rightly so.
Although Rotary Ten aren’t strictly from Sheffield (Lincolnshire) they all met and formed at university in the town. Much like the same way with Gomez, Sheffield has embraced this band much in the same way.
Musically, the band sound very little like their current Steel city musical brethren - with no obvious ‘indie’ sound - and are more akin to the heartfelt poppy sensibilities of bands such as Dartz!, Polytechnic and Q and Not U. Intoxicatingly jangly, without ever sounding twee, ‘These Are Our Hands’ could be one of the records of the year, if not taking the title for itself.
From the bouncy intro of ‘Idols of Our Own Design’ to the anthemic refrain of 'I am my own stupid council' in ‘Time is Not a Line and I am Not a Rock’, it seems that within the first two tracks you’ve hit upon some sort of musical treasure. This is probably as close as you will ever come to discovering some sort of mother load of booty a la Goonies. The only way in which this album is problematic is picking a favourite - near impossible.
The other nine tracks fail to disappoint also; there is simply not a dud to be found. Everything sounds so effortlessly crafted and will make every struggling musician envious - music is not supposed to sound and appear to be so easy.
Released on Xtra Mile, the label yet again prove that they have quite the knack of finding some of the most innovative and original sounding bands around. Rotary Ten are no exception to their superlative back catalogue of releases.
‘These Are Our Hands’ is a solid debut from the band; original, charming and a complete joy to listen to. Ladies and gentlemen; I present to you Rotary Ten - your new favourite band.