Liverpudlian quartet, Whitecliff, are the latest talent signed to Libertines’ Gary Powell’s record label to release an EP of their credentials. The band have some big names working with them, from producer Ken Nelson of Coldplay and Paolo Nutini fame, and Dan Gretch, who has mixed the work of Lana Del Rey and The Vaccines, to name but a few. This seems to smack of a belief in this up and coming band to hit the big time.
Their latest EP, Young Lovers, consists of three to-the-letter, lessons in indie rock. Twanging guitars, pounding drums, and a frontman singing about girls. The title track is the most accomplished sounding on the EP – infectiously energetic and pacy with noticeable pop influences. Subsequent track, ‘The Talk’, opens with a jaunty guitar riff, before singer Oliver Nagy’s vocals burst in with a Chris Martin-esque vocal range.
However, while possessing the exact formula for an indie guitar band, Whitecliff don’t quite hit the nail on the head. Nagy, while the owner of a remarkable voice, nonetheless sounds like a contestant from a reality TV show, rather than a frontman of a rock band, especially on closing track. ‘Say What You Want’ is a nothing less than a power ballad, yet more reminiscent of Westlife than Arctic Monkeys.
With such stiff competition in the guitar band market, Whitecliff aren’t quite on par with some of their contemporaries. Their songs aren’t melodic enough, with the result being that once heard, it’d be unlikely that you’d remember the tune when asked to hum it an hour later. With new bands such as Catfish and the Bottlemen producing stadium sized anthems for the masses, Whitecliff’s offerings are pleasant poppy boppers, that go in one ear and out the other. They have undeniable potential, yet have still to find their feet.