David R Black: Secret City

Black on the street again.

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Operating just under the radar for nine-odd years now, it would be fair comment to suggest that this Manchester three-piece’s boat has already sailed. Luckily however, one truism in the music industry is that when it comes to prediction, no-one knows shit.

Operating predominantly within a scuffed and angular indie alt-rock framework sometimes redolent of other Mancunian underachievers Puressence, they’re also eminently capable of shifting gears into sneering pop-punk (Guacamole), moving acoustic anthems (Another Day) and insistent instant classics (Ezra).

Singer David R (the titular surname provided by female bassist Sarit Black) possesses a wonderfully tremulous boyish lilt – somewhere between Feargal Sharkey and Perry Farrell – and also has the latter’s winning knack with infectious nursery rhyme vocals; best demonstrated here on the Warrior Soul-esque opener Chimes.

Occasionally the overall effect is a tad Camden Britrock circa ’98, but such is the strength and depth on offer maybe their time is now.

Tim Batcup

Tim Batcup is a writer for Classic Rock magazine and Prog magazine. He's also the owner of Cover To Cover, Swansea's only independent bookshop, and a director of Storyopolis, a free children’s literacy project based at the Volcano Theatre, Swansea. He likes music, books and Crass.