THE 1975’s self-titled debut album is an ambitious and eclectic 16-track compilation. A relatively new group, they have toured with MUSE, THE NEIGHBORHOOD, and THE ROLLING STONES at various festivals across the US and UK. Previously known as TALKHOUSE, THE SLOWDOWN, BIGSLEEP and DRIVE LIKE I DO, the group finally settled on THE 1975 after reading the date off of an old beat poetry book.
Having met in High school, the group’s members began to cover punk and pop songs in 2002. This early formation has played a key role in the formation of THE 1975‘s eclectic sound foundation, with other musical influences coming from the TALKING HEADS, PRINCE, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, SIGUR RÓS and MICHAEL JACKSON which the group also told us in an interview in late 2012.
The 1975 opens with The City, one of their 2012 single releases; the song is a pop/alternative melody with lyrics handled by the smooth and heavily accented voice of Matthew Healey. M.O.N.E.Y. follows with stunted electronic samples that are similar to GOLD PANDA and his Lucky Shiner album. Chocolate and Sex complete the five-track opener to this debut album acting as attention grabbers but also symbolize THE 1975’s single track releases.
The 1975 is a bit jumbled and acts as three separate chunks of songs being lumped together for a heftier release instead of a cohesive compilation. The first chunk, tracks 2 to 6 are their single releases, the second, tracks 8 to 11, are solid songs that aren’t quite fillers and the last bite leaves a befuddling taste. While all of the songs are well produced and feature the unique vocal of Matthew Healey, they are just different enough to question what THE 1975’s sound is off of their first album. Perhaps a shuffling of the track list would have made this album more of an ode instead of an extroverted debut.
The many influences of THE 1975 are apparent on this album but they dampen the group’s unique take on alternative rock instead of enrichen it.