Sunday, 3 July 2011
The Satellite Year - Mission: Polarlights
The Satellite Year's debut album might be entitled Mission: Polarlights, but in reality the sound is far more that of sun-drenched American cityscapes and open highways. This is an album with scope, ambition - one that sounds confident in its consistency, projecting a real solid, robust quality from start to finish.
Where The Satellite Year really shine is their keen ear for melody, coming on like a younger cousin of Jimmy Eat World. Mission: Polarlights, for all its rock bulk, remains at heart a pop album; and everything, right down to the crystaline guitar hooks resounds with clarity.
Opener ...And We Will Dance To Your Heartbeat (the long track titles are something of a recurring feature) makes for a satisfying intro to the band, packing high-pitched, bleepy electronics.
The synths are largely kept to a minimum throughout the rest of the album though, on the whole serving only as a delicate finese to flesh out the production.
Big choruses are everywhere, the band showing off a good awareness of packing emotion and drama into their tracks - they're well paced, leaping and colliding in bursts of energy.
That wide-ranging American scope shines through most on tracks like Because This Ain't Vegas and Girls Go Movie - the band's ambition is so palpable, but thankfully, they have the size of sound to back it up.
These tracks shine like a bell hit at the sweetest spot - bang on the money moments that help anchor the album in its own quality. Citizens. Districts. Telescopes sees their guitar virtuosity at its best, a clear boast of muscicianship that, on this occasion at least, feels justified.
In terms of the chilly polar themes conjured up by the album's title, it is only later in the LP that we encounter these, with a French language track serving as a kind of mid show interlude.
With a female vocal and slow, moody piano chords, the album benefits greatly from the versatility here - a break from the guitars into something far more expansive. A highly impressive debut from the band.
Mission: Polarlights is available to download from iTunes now.