When it comes to refining different musical tastes & influences amongst band members, it can be difficult to find the right gel during the search for that hallowed ‘sound’. When some strive to find what is currently ‘in’ at the minute, some are a bit too referential of their favourite artists of the past. Disagreements can ensue and then ideas get ripped up & started again; & repeat.
Saddleworth’s Stepford Wives seem to have no such issue as they combine musical earmarks old and new; providing familiar but ultimately intriguing material from a modern perspective. This can be rare in upcoming bands, but what’s even rarer is when the members of the band actually span the generations within which they create their collective pallet. It’s an authentic approach which has already seen them hit local airwaves on BBC Introducing & XS Manchester and gain support from A1M records, with whom the single is released.
Fronted by teacher Niklos Jackson who enlisted two of his students upon their graduation, they have strived to, in their own words; “mix youthful optimism with experience and wisdom”, which is a very fair summary.
The vocal delivery is somewhat reminiscent of Dylan and The Kinks, but where those styles are typically complimented with easy listening chord progressions and space, Stepford Wives’ instrumentation is discordant and relentless.
It feels modernised by the post-punk revival which appears to have gained steady traction over the past couple of years, where the sad loss of Mark E Smith possibly had a say. This would explain certain musical parallels, as production was headed by Ding Archer (The Fall, Cabbage & PJ Harvey) at The Edge & 6dB studios.
The single itself is a cool, hook-laden attack, centred around a rhythm section which only really comes up for air during the drum solo – forcing the drummer to work overtime in his bandmates absence. ‘All On Me’ is a strong offering, bolstering the catalogue which is taking shape next to 2019 releases, ‘Follow This Way’ and ‘I Can’t Fight’.