The Alps

I’m currently listening to Something I Might Regret. I doubt it though.

I spend a fair amount of time at least checking new bands – though I confess that my attention span tends to be slim these days. A few seconds on MySpace at best sometimes.

But I got an email from Sam a few days ago. He plays in a band called The Alps, “hailing from the cobbled maritime backstreets of old Greenwich town,” no less.

Sam knows how to melt a jaded Phantom’s heart. And here’s a tip. Sending a picture of swaggering young men posing in the Painted Hall guarantees a spin on the spectral decks.

Ok, I thought. The usual thirty seconds. I might even give it forty-five, since they’re local.

I listened to everything.

So – how do I describe The Alps? There’s certainly something retro about them. I’m thinking early 80s guitar-based alt-pop. I can hear The Fall in there somewhere (and also, possibly a tad distressing for them, Duran Duran…) but there’s a little more than that in there. Perhaps some post-Aztec Roddy Frame? Yeah. A bit more reflective, but not gloomy enough for Morrissey.

I turn to their biog. Ah yes – a “confident and stylish brand of 3 minute pop gems.” Well, I’ll give ‘em points for chutzpah. But – hey – I was right – 1980s. Yesss. The Phantom links a finger and marks up an imaginary point for hearing nearly-correct influences (ok, perhaps not the Duran Duran…) I didn’t hear the ‘folk music and sea shanties’ though. I guess I won’t make it onto Buzzcocks after all.

I haven’t been to see them live yet – they’ve not been performing recently, though Sam tells me that they’re planning some gigs for Feb. When they do I’ll try to get along. I’m determined to go to more gigs this year. These guys are intriguing.

I understand that 2009 is one for electro-pop from the girls; that guitar-bands will have to work harder to get where they’re going. But from what I hear of the Alps, they might just do it…

Hear their new single Obstacle Race here

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