Hometown: South Woodham Ferrers
For fans of: The Magic Numbers, Foals, The 1975
Hailing from Essex, England, Stealing Signs recently released their highly anticipated follow up to 2015’s Hide and Seek. The energetic band from a small town in Chelmsford, continue their trend of merging extremely catchy pop melodies with indie vocals and guitars to great effect on A Different Time. Although their Facebook bio indicates they are merely a group who “play instruments in the same room, in the same key and at the same time”, they prove with this EP that they are much more than that and deserve significant acclaim for the work done to produce it.
The five song recording begins with the lead single You Will Be; almost immediately it’s clear how much, in just one year, the band have grown since their last EP. The guitars flow in and out throughout the song in ways I’m not quite sure how the band came up with. The drum beat and bass are pretty consistent yet both rhythm and lead guitar melodies seem to be working in a world of their own, and it works. It’s a fun, lively track that starts the EP off beautifully.
The next two tracks Two Thirds and Make Sure complement each other superbly. The former is a typically indie track with sounds similar to that of Everything Everything or Foals but great guitar riffs from the two minute point onwards showing they’re more than just an average indie band. Make Sure on the other hand is much more built for the pop crowd with huge live sing along potential. They balance perfectly and you can envisage the live crowd appreciating the brilliance of Two Thirds whilst singing along to Make Sure then losing their minds at the end of the track with the epic guitar solo.
Never Know is the penultimate track on the EP; beginning with echoed clapping, the song progresses with staccato guitars, a key feature of the entire mini-record before unleashing the best chorus of the EP. This track is infectious, I want to get up and dance every time I hear it, I want to shake the hand of the man who wrote it because it really is the perfect indie track. It’s at this point I feel the EP should finish because the final track shouldn’t be able to top that of Never Know; but it gives it a very, very good go. The title track A Different Time almost sounds like a different band to the first four tracks as Stealing Signs give fans a much smoother sound with less stop start aspects and much more synergistic instruments which all form to create a stunning track. By the end, unlike the end of track 4, I am wanting this record to be full-length, not just 5 tracks.
Stealing Signs have created something special here. At the start of 2017, I have given my first ever 5 star review because I genuinely feel this is “genre-defining” music. If we are talking about the indie industry as a whole, these five tracks encompass everything it means to be an indie band currently. My only complaint is that it isn’t longer; but I can and will wait for a full-length (secretly hoping it’ll come in 2017). If you get chance, go and see these guys; with a few shows in Leeds and Doncaster over the next couple of months there is plenty of opportunity and I hope I can catch one myself. Check out Two Thirds below, trust me it’s worth it.