For an idea of how seriously you should be taking London four-piece The Microdance just take a glance at some of the guest musicians on their debut album.
Nicole Fiorentino (Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt) pops up on backing vocals, while ex-Morrissey, Tom Morello and Cyprus Hill sticksman Eric Gardner lends a hand on drumming duties.
Heavyweight names for a heavyweight album – with 14 tracks, clocking in at more than an hour of music, this is certainly a band that believes in offering good value for money.
But does New Waves of Hope deserve that level of commitment?
Well, it certainly gets off to great start, the hook-laden We Meet In Dreams crashing in with great slabs of muscular guitar.
Track Two Mudlark recalls Wayne Hussey’s The Mission, while The Microdance showcase their versatility with the fun, poppy single Making Plans for the End (see below).
But thereafter the influence of Fiorentino’s Smashing Pumpkins takes perhaps too firm a grip and the album sags a little in the middle.
Several tracks clock in at over six minutes without any good reason and the pace and momentum is lost.
Songs like Mr Pierro Blanco and Smithereens, buckle under the weight of their own importance and the band sail dangerously close to self-indulgence.
However chief songwriter Alex Keevil has a strong grasp of atmospherics and when they get it right, as on the fabulous We Are The Hope Machine, The Microdance can sound like the saviours of British guitar music.
This Malaise is Over is another highlight, it’s elegaic mood providing the perfect close to the album.
But by far the best of the bunch is The Weight of Holding You Up a wistful, dreamscape, bathed in acoustic guitar that hints at a big future for Keevil and his compadres.
This is an accomplished cohesive debut, from a fast-maturing band with a gift for songcraft.
If they can learn to master the tricky knack of self-editing, they might just be The New Waves of Hope we’ve being waiting for.
The Microdance are Alex Keevill: Guitars, Synth & Vocals, Gavin Mata Hari: Guitars, Cheryl Pinero: Bass & Vocals and Alex Major: DrumsThe Microdance are Alex Keevill: Guitars, Synth & Vocals, Gavin Mata Hari: Guitars, Cheryl Pinero: Bass & Vocals and Alex Major: Drums.
New Waves Of Hope is out now through Superlust Recordings.