I have had my eye on Quick Quick Obey for several years now as a “promising” (a word that is thrown around a lot in the music business) young act from Thisted here in j-land. A few years ago they were a go-to act for those young “up-and-coming” type gigs that you could go and see with other kids dressing up and playing nice instruments when they should be at home doing their homework, milking cows, fixing scooters or whatever young people are meant to be doing when they aren’t in school in the provinces. No matter, they always shone a little brighter and didn’t seem to adhere annoyingly to cliché or a duty to replicate the music of their parent’s generation. You never know though, when you’re young, a band’s dynamics can change when you have to enter what people used to call the “real world” after high school. Good for the provinces though, they decided to stick with the music thing and give it a shot after they closed their textbooks.
The results are here. I’m guessing the title Bulb Days is meant to evoke a perennial plant bursting from the ground into beautiful color, if not it should. This record really is them making a stab at just bursting onto the scene and barfing pastels all over it. As a first album, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. They definitely know what they are doing, building a very well structured recording with well placed tunes and big “wave your lighter (or iPhone) in the air” moments. Lead single: “Hold Your Breath” evokes a little Cocteau Twins in the guitar effects, a little Kate Bush in the Xylophone things, and a little Flaming Lips in the fuzzily plucked bass. It has a definite Danish feel to it though – actually the whole album feels very Danish. By this I simply mean: well put together, well thought out, very fashionable and ambitious.
Bulb Days is an album’s album. It is evident that it’s made to be heard all the way through without distraction on a decent system, because all the little nuances here and there, along with some interludes, intros and mood pieces are what really tie the songs together Now: the only critiques I have is that it almost seems too perfect. At times it does seem a little over-baked and un-relentless. The lead vocalist’s pipes are definitely formidable, but on most of the numbers he really seems to just throw everything he has at the performance dynamically, leaving little for the run out zone of his phrasing. Often the songs are layered with some of his impressive soprano octave squealing which to me seems a little over the top. The text to some of the songs seems a little blasé to the point that I had to follow along with their press release lyric sheet which really only spoiled the party for me, because I guess the music here is what is the most pleasing thing.
At the end of the day, Quick Quick Obey really did make a great first album. It would be a perfect soundtrack for an early early Sunday morning comedown type scenario. There are A LOT A LOT A LOT A LOT A LOT of bands doing this type of music (epic indie?) – who will inherit the crown on the Danish scene this summer? Who knows? It could be Quick Quick Obey and their very un-offensive album. I think the word “promising” still applies though to this act. Not quite there yet, however definitely boarding the train.
You can catch them this Saturday at RADAR, when they will play a “release concert” and among the impressive line-up of other promising acts at SPOT festival in a few weeks.
High 3 – let’s say 4/5 stars.