The Svengalis - Sting in your Tale/Swimming Upstream

Tim Miller 14/03/2007

Rating: 4/5

If there's an abundance of anything in the world today, it's new bands. I can't see what it is in the instant rise and fall of upcoming bands, whose following breaks them into the mainstream or into the wider music consciousness, only for them to disappear from view again almost immediately, that appeals. The internet has allowed everyone their fair crack at audience garnering, but the internet music connoisseur doesn't have time for long term favourite bands anymore. They want new music every day, and once they've consumed, it's on to the next big thing for seconds.

It is with this in mind that I approach debut material, but enough of the flirting with cultural criticism. The Svengalis (are they shoes?) release their debut single in time to build up industry awareness before the long hot summer kicks in - and it's a good piece of timing. The a-side Sting In Your Tale is a cheerful, helter-skeltering song, making use of a thoroughbred '60s chord sequence, vibrant guitars and a vocalist who sounds like a pre-cigarettes Carl BarĂ¢t. The Svengalis, indeed, do seem to fit into that post-Libertines bracket, akin to Larrikin Love (cor, that's assonance) but with a summery atmosphere.

The second track, or the b-side if this is, in fact, a split single, begins with a hint of The Jam's A Town Called Malice, but never quite follows that swagger; a strong straight beat provides the undercurrent to Swimming Upstream, a song tinted with the modern day disquiet evident in The Libertines' music, but translated through the toned down melodic stylings of clean ringing guitars, organ lines and urgent vocals.

All in all, despite my opening paragraph, The Svengalis debut single is a pleasant, tuneful offering, leaning towards being positively feel-good with its bright production, and hopefully, The Svengalis might just be sticking around for the summer, and beyond.

Released 12th March 2007