East London crew Short Stories have been on somewhat of an underground tear as of late. 2015 showed them gain musical street cred with their debut EP earning comparisons to The Jam and The Verve, all the while building a steady following of supporters both locally and further afield. A crowning achievement for the band however, came in the form of a support slot with Leeds indie mob Alt-J, which not only exposed them to a wider audience, but seemingly gave them scope for bigger musical intentions on latest EP Valhalla.
Big rock sounds come thick and fast with the snotty intro of Never Gonna Grow Up. The sneering vocals of the verse make way for a chorus brimming with epic guitar lines and huge vocal hooks, proving from the get-go that when it comes to penning arena sized anthems, Short Stories have it in the bag.
For the latter part of 2016, Short Stories reportedly locked themselves away in order to get the best out of their new material and it’s clear that they absorbed their influences well with Holt sounding close to James’ Tim Booth on the stellar Sit Alone and combining punk rock pace and Killers-esque synths on the charging She Don’t Know Me.
Not only are each of these four tracks well-written indie-rock nuggets in their own right, but they are also represented well by the excellent production here. Holt’s vocals are right up front to deliver his earworm melodies which are supported well by the decisive new addition of guitarist Ashley Walker. This is shown on closer Stories of London, which acts as an overview of the EP’s overall feel, highlighting not only the musical aptitude of each band member, but their ability to pen a meaningful track that looses nothing inside of its grandiose nature.
As a second EP, Valhalla really sets Short Stories up as contender for big things in future years. The key here for the London foursome is making the transition from four tracks of pop-rock goodness to penning a full album’s worth and in turn, showing that they can take their music to the next level. In the interim, with Valhalla sounding as vast as the mythical hall from which it takes its name, Short Stories are set to continue their upwards climb out of the underground and onto the stereos of any indie and rock fans who happen to stumble across them.
Valhalla is out now and you can find out more about them on their Facebook page.