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Each year the music press, NME in particular, begin January by proclaiming some groups of blokes with guitars to be the saviors of the music world. Occasionally this promise is transformed into a revered band and a quality debut (The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys), sometimes the early quality shown by these bands is subsequently destroyed by the changes that occur with their fame, until they become vulgar (Kings Of Leon, Razorlight) and sometimes they're just plain awful from the start (Viva Brother, Mona). Of this year's great hopes to be potential saviours of guitar music, we chose Birmingham's Peace as the ones most likely to. Their singles have been good, plus they're not just trying to be the next Strokes/garage-punk clones.
Peace seemed to offer a wider variety, a more eclectic sound and, while they too borrow from the past, they don't just regurgitate the same stuff as others (Howler, Palma Violets). So here it is then, that debut album. It's called 'In Love'. Is it much cop? Or have we been duped by the hype? The initial listen led to a few tracks immediately sticking out, the rest didn't seem bad; it was a decent album but more plays would be needed. Having had time to let these songs ingrain themselves into our brain we can confidently say that Peace have well and truly pulled it off. 'In Love' will be in the end of year polls, it will be a hit, the band will be reasonably big, and they'll do so by mixing baggy, shoegaze, indie, dreampop and psychedelia together and serving it up in handy bite-sized packages.
'Higher Than The Sun' is a suitably starry-eyed opener and sets a joyous and slightly magical tone, and then it's straight into the baggy-meets-psych-pop of 'Follow Baby', one of many sparkling highlights, fellow single 'Wraith' is another. The eclectic and inventive 'Delicious' isn't the kind of tune you can just knock together in a couple of minutes. There's a knowing naivety to the bouncy pop of 'Lovesick' that conjures up an air of youth and excitement, 'Waste Of Paint' has a spring in its step (and Blur's 'There's No Other Way' on its iPod). They also do pensive and reflective pretty well. 'Float Forever' and 'Sugarstone' being prime examples. The now familiar finale of 'California Daze' feels like the sun setting on one of the best days of your life. With 'In Love', Peace have given us a glorious, twinkling, inventive and eclectic bundle of fun that easily sails over the bar that the press set for them and will provide a whole summer full of listening pleasure.
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