twothirtytwo is a five piece band from Aldershot. “Home of the British Army” (at least according to Wikipedia), the Hampshire town is known for its statue of Wellington, its observatory, and the fact that actor Martin Freeman comes from there. Now we can add twothirtytwo to its list of local attractions.
The band approached Essentially Pop with a very witty email asking us to review their new EP, “The Hope We Had”. Having previously reviewed the excellent Midfield Workhorse, who have supported twothirtytwo in the past, we approached “The Hope We Had” with much excitement – and were rewarded greatly.
Usually at Essentially Pop, reviews are done by only one author, but we were so impressed by “The Hope We Had” we’ve decided to let a few of our writers get their teeth into it, and so today’s is a three-handed review.
Juliet: twothirtytwo are an unusually intelligent alt-rock band who deliver an interesting and not displeasing sound.
Joan: They’re definitely ones to watch.
They hail from Aldershot, a town that I didn’t know anything about before I researched the band, but now I know not to visit in a hurry. Nobody seems to have anything good to say about the place – someone even called it cold, dead and militant.
Anyway, it was here that the up and coming twothirtytwo were formed in 2012 by Andrew Clift and Chris Haye after they graduated university. (Andrew had been writing songs from a young age, inspired by Sex Pistols, Motown and Joy Division) They were soon joined by guitarists Robert Smith and Alex Harrison.
Juliet: They went on to add drummer Carlos Benn.
Their debut EP “The Hope We Had” is an excellent ensemble of tracks, with a sound that’s Reminiscent of 80’s legends Morrissey and the Cure, with a perhaps a hint of Bowie thrown in.
Lisa: The first thing that struck me was the voice of lead singer, Andrew Clift. He sounds to me a lot like Robert Smith (the one from The Cure – not 232’s guitarist!), with a bit of Ian Curtis thrown in for good measure. Like Juliet I heard the Bowie influence too. Given that twothirtytwo describe themselves as “Morrissey being punched in the face by Bruce Springsteen whilst swinging from Ian Curtis’ rope” then I’m not surprised at all by the sounds I’m hearing.
Joan: In Rob Mair’s review from Already Heard, he awarded 4/5, describing their music as intelligent and literate rock. He singled out ‘Bones’ as the pick of the 5 songs and though he felt the other 4 songs didn’t match it, he still thought they had a lot to offer.
Martyn Coppack from Echoes and Dust, has nothing but praise for “The Hope We Had”. He describes it as heartfelt indie, and mentions the Morrisey and Springsteen influence. Having waxed lyrical about each track, he sums up by saying the EP is ‘really special and one of the finds of the year.’
Juliet: We particularly liked the lead track “Bones” and found ourselves listening to it on repeat, always a good sign.
Lisa: I really liked that one too – I also LOVED “Epitaph” – as a Cure fan from way back that one just sounds like something they could have sung back in the day. Also reminds me a lot of The Psychedelic Furs.
Their debut EP, “The Hope We Had”, was released on September 8 and is available via their Bandcamp site.
Check out the video for the title track for “The Hope We Had”:
“The Hope We Had” was reviewed by Joan Treacy, Juliet Barrable, and Lisa Hafey