The Violet May – TV EP (Oh! Inverted World Records)

July 3, 2011 by  

You know Chris McClure. You may not know it, but you know Chris McClure. Chances are if you turned 17 in 2005 and you are into your indie, then this man would adorn your favourite record or have had his mug shot grace your bedroom wall. And if this still doesn’t ring any bells, but you recognise the name, then you need look no further than that of the revered Reverend of Sheffield himself, Jon McClure, who is Chris’ big brother.

Chris McClure in case you were wondering is the unkempt smoker that greeted the masses when the Arctic Monkeys released ‘Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not’. The artwork was just as recognisable as the tunes about dancefloors and prostitutes, and has become such a seminal image that another Sheffield son in Toddla T actually got McClure to recreate the image for his own debut album ‘Shanky Shanky’.

Staying on the theme of the recognisable, it is also clear from the audio that the brothers McClure share more than just a name. It seems like they inherited the same set of lungs which they have to share. 2011 is the younger siblings’ turn as he takes over vocal duties for this; the debut EP from the raucous 5-piece. However, a similar sounding voice is where the similarities end. The sound of The Violet May is a dark, heavy and loaded with vitriol, emotion and raw power. Often disorderly and also more American sounding than many things to come out of mid-Yorkshire for a long while, it’s a real change in perception.

The music is harsh, as is some of the content. Alex Turner spun his views of an often desolate and rundown world into near celebratory anthems, but we see no such optimism here. The EP opens with rocker ‘Jennifer Lies’ and the substance of the lyrics is fairly bleak but is driven on by the heavy guitar work and deep vocals. Title-track ‘TV’ is a brooding affair, with a deeper verbal and the five tracks here all run into each other frantically but they do lack that particular ladish charm that you’d be expecting.

All the same, a worthy first effort and worth a listen, even if it only serves as a reference point for future outings.

[rating:2.5]


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