Little Comets - In Search of Elusive

Luke Langlands 31/01/2011

Rating: 4/5

Looking over Little Comets and their debut album In Search of Elusive for the first time, you could be forgiven for judging the contents before you'd heard a second of it. You'd expect a throwaway indie debut that is there to simply sow the land with jangly guitar and 'lets-get-drunk-because-we're-young-and-cool' lyrics, which are then used to reap the rewards of harvesting of a scenester fanbase and the popularity that goes alongside it. If you thought that (which, a cynical me did…a little bit), then you are completely, utterly, monumentally and unforgivably wrong.

Destined to be compared to The Futureheads and every other band from the North-East of England (despite the fact that my home region actually has a thriving music scene, which the rest of the UK seems to not realise), Little Comets have created a record that traverses the perilous tightrope of fun and genuinely uplifting music whilst harbouring down-to earth, thought-provoking lyrics. Album-opener Adultery laments the collapse of relationships because of cheating partners 'for parting your hands into trousers and knickers can destroy a life'. If you read the lyrics without the music, it's pretty heavy stuff. The fact that One Night in October wasn't a huge commercial success for the expansive four-piece when it was released as the album's lead single makes me believe some sort of Da Vinci Code-esque cover-up occurred.

As the tracks roll on, you continue to be surprised with the record's grandeur. The gentle and self-critical Joanna is destined to be sung in unison in packed-out clubs, as is Dancing Song (as you'd expect with a name like that!) Isles contains lines that Paul Weller would be proud of during the pinnacle years of The Jam: 'Sometimes I lie awake for hours feeling so synthetic/While my eyes are screaming out for something way more epic'.

There are a couple moments where the listener is left waning, and perhaps waiting for the next song rather than listening intently to the present (Darling Alistair). But, as a whole, this is a very, very impressive and delightfully unexpected album. When a person hits their early to mid-twenties, you're almost left in young person/young adult purgatory: you still feel like that seventeen year-old who could get away with almost anything and had little to no responsibilities, but now you're encroaching genuine adult life. It's a transition that isn't entirely fun. To me, In Search of Elusive portrays this time of everyone's life perfectly - it's fun and exciting with endless possibilities, but there's now the bite and snarl of real-life that can't be avoided.

I was geared-up to listen to an album that was although quite good, also predictable and disposable, with tracks that would be forgotten in less than a year. On the contrary, Little Comets have offered a well thought-out, heartfelt creation that has the remarkable ability to lift a person's spirits sky-high while they listen to songs about adultery, self-depreciation and the lament of the human spirit. A cracker!

Little Comets - In Search of Elusive is available to buy from Monday (31st January).