Beat The Radar: To The City From The Sea

~ Saturday, 12 September 2009
Geography, as ever at the Music Critic is always pivotal. Beat the Radar moved from Cumbria to Manchester to be nearer to the home of New Order, The Fall and the Stone Roses. The vibe and the vocals follow the English indie tradition, but the overall sound nods to Sebadoh, Husker Du and early REM. All this is underpinned with a tight, action packed rhythm section.

Beat the Radar pack a heavy power pop punch. From opener Misunderstood What You Said to the Buzzcock-esque 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 the album, To The City From The Sea, on Manchester’s Akoustic Anarky, breezes along quite nicely thank you very much.

It’s like a stroll through the indie guitar bands you forgot about in your record collection, full of familiar snapshots and great bands who should’ve been massive. This isn’t to say they sound unoriginal; in fact the effect is more of breathing new life and of bringing a fresh crispness.

In By the Sea there’s potentially a hit single that could see Beat the Radar starring high on next year’s festival circuit. Brilliant songs, all more addictive than midget gems and drummer Adam Featherstone drives us along splendidly.

There’s intricate guitar evoking The Smiths and Blur at their indie best, especially on Stars. On Pretend You Play a chord straight out of Sonic Youth’s back catalogue. If they’re not already, soon they’ll be the new darlings of the NME.

If you like guitar pop, you’ll love To The City From The Sea.

Great work.

[][][][] (4/5)

Review by Charlie Brown