The Bedroom Hour
Slow Motion Cinema
5-piece band are all about hone and craft. The ensuing E.P. will go a long way to ensuring plenty of plaudits head their way.
The E.P. Themes, is available from 17/05 via
E.P. launch is being held at 229 Great Portland Street, London, on Friday 17th May: support from Crystal Seagulls and The Broxton Hundred.
BREAKING away from the usual themes and discussions...
which normally revolve around music from the north, and bands straying too closely to their modern idols. I have encountered The Bedroom Hour previously, and was impressed by the amount of time, effort and affection, paid to each track. I shall discuss them some more shortly, but for now, there is a bit of a resurgence occurring in London. It is long overdue, as I have been disappointed by the sore lack of new and inviting talent, emanating from the capital. It is a bit baffling, given that the majority of recording studios, labels, media outlets, and, by extension, potential new bands, originate here. Broadsheets, respectable music mags and rags alike, are quick to expound the virtues of London's music scene. For every act that is proffered forth, wrapped in cotton wool, there is another, more worthy band, plying their trade, in other parts of the country. Of course I have mentioned Yorkshire and Scotland, with regards to current hot-spots; but the likes of Brighton are also doing their fair share to get themselves on the map. My derision regarding the apparent lack of artistry coming from London, is probably down to media expectation, and the acts themselves. Most of the broadsheet papers and a great deal of music websites are very London-centric, and seem to have their eyes firmly set upon the city. I have mentioned before, that there seems to be a lack of awareness towards other parts of the U.K., especially the north. I have not heard of a single act being mentioned, who hails from Wales. I am sure there are tonnes of acts around there, that are just as good and ambitious as anyone, yet you never hear of them. Whether this lack of communication is down to the rather flawed nature of social media, or a compartmentalised grouping of acts- all hidden away, and out of the sights of the average consumer. I feel that too few acts utlise social media the way they should; too few updates, on too few possible outlets. It is great to ignite your local scene, and gain a reputation, but for that glory to be cemented and expanded, one must have as large an online presence, as possible. Music media is responsible for a lot of this inculpation. There are really not enough reputable outlets, promoting new music; too many are focused too solely on the existing crop. Of course, the acts themselves must shoulder some of the blame. As I have described before, the reasons the best music is coming from the smaller cities and towns, is because of the space, more sedate pace, and lack of pressure on the artists. London is one of the busiest cities on Earth, and this stress is not always conducive to great and productive music. To my ear though, there seems to be a lack of originality, full stop. There is a lot of third-rate posturing and tribute acts; too many X-Factor moronic wannabes; and too few really potent and credible artists. I fear it is a trend that will flourish, unabated; but has simple solutions, though. That is an explanation, for another day.
I was pleasingly surprised and calmed, by the sounds of The Bedroom Hour. I am familiar with their Submarine, and was impressed, not only by their music, but by the band as a whole. They are a group of men and not boys: you can tell from their publicity photos, that they are fun-loving as well as serious. They are not your usual early-20s bunch of boys, complete with moody stares and quasi-rebellious words. The guys have a touch of Elbow or Doves about them. Not just in their attire and look as a whole, but- as they are influenced by them- the band have a similar ambition and work ethic. They are down-to-Earth and likeable chaps, and are as close to a southern equivalency of the aforementioned northern stunners, as you can get. From their Uxbridge constituency, they are parts modern London, and parts reputable northern bands-cum-classic '70s and '80s bands, such as Pink Floyd and Simple Minds. Stuart, Rob, Dan, Mark and Lewis are our intrepid band of men, and have been honing their craft and perfecting their sound for around 6 years or so, now. They are not only concerned with conquering their own ambition, but are fervent supporters of fellow acts, and new music in general. In spite of the dominance of the northern counterparts, The Bedroom Hour and making waves and strides with regards to volumising London's credibility. Until a way has been figured out to iron out the many creases that exist in the big city, for now, our 5-piece have few local competitors; but plenty of supporters. They have a simple but effective on-line campaign, and have made good use of all social media outlets, as well as the traditional general music outlets- YouTube, SoundCloud, etc. In my previous review for the guys, I noted at how they are not exclusive in their generational appeal. In the sense that they are steeped in historical quality, by proxy of their influences; similarly sharing a sensibility common during the '70s and '80s, they are modern and fresh sounding too; the ghosts of Elbow and their ilk linger in some of the notes, but they are unique and individual as any band I have heard. It is this combination of qualities and shades that means The Bedroom Hour enjoy a wide-ranging appeal and fandom, and consequently, will attract a lot of new and disparate fans, come the release of the Themes E.P.
Charged with picking out a track from the E.P., that was indicative of the release as whole, yet had its own character and personality, was left to Slow Motion Cinema. There is an appropriately slow motion, and dramatic piano coda, that begins the track. It has the drama and flair of a Beethoven or Rachmaninoff composition, and has a touch of Muse to it, curiously. In the same way that their track Apocalypse Please opened with similar piano drama, The Bedroom Hour elicit some of that galloping pace, yet it is more composed and subdued than Muse's effort. It is maybe an unexpected beginning, as most would expect a traditional guitar, bass and drum pattern. In a way, that is where the similarities with the likes of Elbow and Doves begin. Those guys built up a heady reputation and glory from piano and atmosphere-led epics; able to gain your attention and fully emote, from unexpected sources and avenues. There are few modern acts that are able to inject a romantic and dramatic mood into an intro, without guitar and drums starting proceedings. The likes of Think Tank Blur and OK Computer-Amnesiac Radiohead did supremely; yet it has been sadly lacking as of late. The flowing heartbeat is joined by the vocal before long. It is an aching and impassioned covenant. As the band back up our front-man sternly: evoking an air of support and weaving electric and percussive lives, elongated words of "So much to talk about" are dusted and sparkle in the ether. In some of the groups tones and musical combinations, as well as vocal colours, there is a wisp of Kings of Leon at their softest. There are elements of Garvey and Followill; a similar raspy and manly sensitivity, with a hint of Glen Tilbrook. When the line "What would I do without you?" is spoken, there is a sense, here, that we are listening to a song with a very modern and relevant message, yet imbued with the spirit of the northern bands of the '70s; it is this cross pollination that adds weight and spectre to the song. The words relate to, and impose a sense of longing and doubt. Our hero is wondering what his life would be like when his paramour is gone. There is an unwillingness to let go of something so solid and wonderful. The band do justice to this, by adding emotion and openness to the setting; deftly weaving bubbles and rays of light into the central doubt. The chorus relates to our protagonist closing his eyes, and seeing Slow Motion Cinema- a metaphor and parable that sums up his heartache, and is also an easement into his soul. At times too, the vocal- aside from having classic corners of Leaders of the Free World- has Thom Yorke-esque authority: it sounds like a lost cut from In Rainbows or Kid A. The song is the sound of a slow dance in a dream; our hero is there, but his affection's object is a ghostly pale. The what-ifs and elliptical emotions, and calmed and temporised by the musical passages that follow. They allow you to absorb the words and potency, yet restrain the mood to ensure that there are audio peaks, as well. The guitar, bass and drum interplay knowingly, conjuring up a combined sound of The National, The Cure, as well as Simple Minds. When our protagonist sings: "I'll close my eyes/To see slow motion cinema" you strain to see what he sees: chattels, epic scenes, rain-swept or whatever, it is open to imagination and interpretation: making it all the more curious. The bailment of our hero's heart, is currently under duress from his soul and bones. Indemnification comes in the form of a skipping and bright guitar bounce. It has a slither of The Smith's and sunnier and inventive swathes of the Californian coast; and is a dramatic and unexpected deviation. There is a nod to the Gothic playfulness of The Cure, but the guitar, curiously, has the same sound as a Qawwali/Sufis vibe, only less porous. It is the final moments of the track, that are dedicated to the "I'll close me eyes" of the chorus. Each time the line is delivered, it is done differently: either elongated with trembled aching, or shortened and given a narrower consideration. It is the combination of presentation and repetition in itself that produces an epic end to the track, and builds tension and aching. We finish the songs as we begun: filled with vivid imagery and questions on our tongues. Whether the Slow Motion Cinema is a matinee of pleasurable remembrance or a painful reminder, is in the band's mind. It is for you load your own reel...
In less than week, the band prepare to launch their E.P., Themes. It promises to be a varied and exceptional release. I have managed to hear the remaining tracks from the E.P., and there is a massive amount of quality, range and appeal to be heard. If you have not heard of the band yet, then they are well worth seeking out and thorough investigation. They craft modern tableauxs, complete with an incredible sound and ambition. Although they have some modern influences on their sleeves, it is never too obvious or apparent, listening to their music. The band are capable of unleashing the same sort of northern force as the likes of your Doves, Elbows and Smiths, yet are a tight-knit and sterling band whom have a much more curious and endearing originality to them. If you can't get to London on the 17th to hear them live, then get your hands and ears on their E.P. and hear for yourself. In a time where London bands are few and far between, or have not yet been heard, The Bedroom Hour...
SHINE a guiding light, and promise much glory.