The 1975 – Facedown EP

We’ve featured these guys before. You may not remember, as they weren’t The 1975 at the time. They were either B I G S L E E P or T H E S L O W D O W N, we lose track. They’ve had a number of problems with naming rights; apparently a load of spaces aren’t sufficient to get around copyright. Thankfully this talented Mancunian quartet have settled on a name, one that’s rather easier to type then their previous incarnations. Although, they do still stick to the caps locked spacing on Facebook. I’d love to know why?

To quote The Bard, what’s in a name? Judging by Facedown EP, potentially quite a lot. This is a far darker record than their previous releases; Ghosts and Sex were all sparkling guitars, epic choruses and soaring vocals.  The eponymous opening track on this EP could hardly be further removed. It’s quiet rippling opening builds to a crescendo that is never reached. Where we expected powerful chords, we get muted vocals and ambient lo-fi crackle. If the subtly of this track leaves you wanting more, then The City undoubtedly delivers exactly that. “Don’t call it a fight when you know it’s a war”, is a call to arms laid over punchy percussion. The epic guitars are back, wrenching you into a truly anthemic chorus. Crooning vocals dominate throughout, and are an irresistible draw. It’s little wonder that this track has been receiving some healthy radio airtime. Antichrist is the most complex track on the record. Again vocals reign supreme. Emotion and intensity soar and dive throughout a wonderful five minutes. This is fine musical craftsmanship, a free form sonic landscape overlayed with aptly holy instrumental, pierced by poignant lyricism as it reaches an unforgettable close.  The EP close pays homage to the maxim simple is best. Women sees restraint return, but this time with less electronica to muffle it. Instead there’s clarity and honesty. When you’re this good, you need no more than vocal and a guitar, sealed with a touch of echoing reverb.

Facedown EP is dark, moody and headily atmospheric. It displays an impressive breadth of sound. It left me a little concerned though. It’s melancholy, whilst moving and cathartic, hinted at a departure from The 1975’s early anthemic brilliance. Thankfully, I have it on good authority that those early anthems (Ghosts and Sex) have not been abandoned. They are lined up for later releases. This news is not only a relief, it makes this record even better. To maintain a sonic diversity spanning Women and The City whilst keeping a handle on the likes of Sex is an impressive feat. It speaks of a promising future. A future we look forward to following.