South Yorkshire’s Alvarez Kings have travelled a long and arduous road to the position they currently hold. A spot that beforehand saw them occupy local scenes for the best part of a decade, building an international following at big name American fests like South by Southwest and recently climbing aboard the travelling circus that is the Vans Warped Tour. The spot they currently occupy of course, is just having released debut album Somewhere Between through major label Warner Bros/Sire Records; Not bad for a bunch of lads from the North East of England – but upon reaching this apex in their career, one would have to ask, is there room for another synth-laden indie band in the current musical climate?
There is a lot to be said for the pristine grooves contained on Somewhere Between, the band incorporating a host of modern influences as well as using breezy synth lines to give their sound an 80’s polish ala The 1975. Tracks like the hyper-melodic Tell–Tale Heart and bouncy Sleepwalking,Pt.II are joyous pop throwbacks, while the more subdued Run from You with its Vangelis-esque keys show the band’s ability to pare things down without losing the impact and vibrancy of their more upbeat material.
As sleek and pleasing as the best songs on Somewhere Between are, it’s in the glossy finish of the overall product that things occasionally get a little lost. For every Sleepwalking,Pt.II, there is the odd moment where it feels like the band are over utilising their atmospheric approach and would occasionally benefit from the slightly more raw edge of their live sound.
Minor grumble aside, at just 11 tracks, Somewhere Between keeps things short and sweet. It provides both chart worthy highlights and sees them meld well-crafted songs with expansive post-rock/pop nuances making something that although not revolutionary, will please fans of band’s such as The 1975, Churches and PVRIS no end.
Alvarez Kings may be a little late to the synth-pop party but with the high standard set on the majority of Somewhere Between it’s hard to deny them a seat at the table.
Somewhere Between is out now on Warner Bros/Sire Records.