Does anyone remember The Holloways? That slightly over the top, “jaunty, getting-ready-for-a-big-night-out” kind of band as Drowned in Sound described them in 2006. They briefly made it big with their single Generator in an era when music was arguably more cheery than today. You’d be forgiven if you’re pining for better times right now. So if you’re looking for that mid-noughties sound and a little cheer try West London four-piece Sterling Press’ new single, very fun times.
With an early bout of success after bagging record of the week a few weeks back on Abbie McCarthy’s show for BBC Music Introducing Kent and pretty swift success building a following on social media, Sterling Press seem to be on a path to success. Pretty admirable for a band that is still in its infancy. Especially at a time without access to live audiences and little opportunity to rally fans around a new single.
very fun times leaps out the gate with shrill guitar, heavy drums, and a simple riff that punctuates the music as a bright melody dances on top. Albeit with lyrics that don’t seem to mean too much except describing a very fun time. The verses are simple, following a tried and tested formula to success as many bands have done in the past. It’s the chorus’ that are a bit of a treat. The addition of organ brings a bit of warmth that nicely contrasts with verse, and a catchy vocal hook that will probably be lodged in your head for the rest of the day is complemented by chords with just the right amount of tension to stray away from repetitive. I can understand why McCarthy thinks it’s destined to be an “out and out indie banger”.
And how can you forget the flurry of trumpets that bring a welcome flash of colour to the lighter moments in a guitar-heavy tune? One trumpet- perhaps unintentionally- croaking out a version of “The lick” for those in the know. The pièce de resistance though being an almost euphoric clash of instruments at the end with layer upon layer of horns, full band, and improvising trumpets, swaying back and forth like a New Orléans marching band. It’s an unusual choice for the end of the song but the excitement of all that’s going on fits pretty well.
I’d be lying if I said I had never heard a tune like this in the past. After all, the type of band I can think to compare this to were in their prime in the mid-noughties. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, poppy-indie bands like The Holloways, The Pigeon Detectives, and countless others have been very successful over the years and many continue to be to this day. So if you fancy a bit of a throwback, or you’re yearning for a very fun time, give it a go. Besides, is a little positivity such a bad thing at the moment?