As their band name might well imply, Crushing Blows are a noise pop act who have been recently championed by NME and Radio 1. Yet despite the potentially violent nature of their music, this Derbyshire duo are not without a soft side.
From its opening salvo of falsetto vocals and chiming guitars, ‘The People You Will Never Meet’ sounds special. It’s a track which finds the perfect combination between dreampop heartache and melodic euphoria where guitars soar, collapse and merge into each other in a way that never comes close to self-indulgence. ‘I Dream Of Becoming A Girl’ is a little more out of control and – that title aside – sounds rather confused in comparison and if the frontman seems like he’s straining his voice too much on that track he is all but drowned out by the increasingly louder ‘Love Is Dangerous’. ‘No Halcyon’, though, sees the band edge more comfortably into fuzzed-up indie rock territory, including an excellent, punchy pay-off on the chorus.
Such is the anthemic, epic feel to this EP, there’s a sense that Crushing Blows are aiming to become a two-man Arcade Fire but there’s a lot more to them than that. The two best tracks here demonstrate they can make beautiful dreampop and rawer, punkier material too.
HIJK, Arcade Fire