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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Wray

Discover Liverpool-based Indie starlets Sterling Press!

After announcing UK tours supporting major names including Circa Waves and Vistas, Sterling Press have cemented their quintessential British attitude with a triptych of fresh singles. ‘Doorbell’, ‘Crowdpleaser’ and ‘What Would You Do?’. The tracks offer a new genre-meshing sound thanks to an experimental approach to production and the electronics of the Moog Little Phatty Stage II and the Akai MPK Mini - neither of which take away from the group’s essential ‘guitar-band’ attitude. 

Don’t you ever feel as though your playlist is lacking in doorbell samples? Well, we certainly do... are suffering is now over thanks to this the band's latest release. 'Doorbell' comes reeping in with a Trance-like vocal melody and washed-out Drum and Bass groove, before exploding into a punchy rhythm guitar line and vocals to match. The retrograde verse section loses none of the intro’s energy and makes for a true Indie blend between a slightly-driven guitar riff, laid back drum beat and edgy lyrics that address the listeners at the door. If this threefold foray wasn’t enough, we’re then brought into a Psychedelic bridge; another genre seamlessly entered into, and perfectly executed - lifting listener’s into the provocative chorus hook "tell me who you’re trying to be?".

This lyrical attitude prevails for the rest of the track, thanks to lines "you got the gift of the gab, but your charm’s all gone" and "you talk about yourself for far too long". If the song needed anything more, we’re given a House-influenced bridge that cuts through the section’s previous Psychedelic feel, to drop us into the final chorus. Calling an end to a truly genre-meshing but essentially guitar driven tune, complimented by forward-thinking production techniques and experimentation with samples of … a doorbell, who’d have thought?

There is no waiting ‘round at the beginning of 'Crowdpleaser'. Punchy call and response guitars immediately immerse listeners in a multi-instrumental intro, to which electronic layers give an almost swirling Shoegaze feel. Out of the triptych, the band’s original approach to composition is most apparent in the verse sections of this track. From electronic rhythmic melodies to out-of-the-box sample choices, embellished by subtle percussion that emphasises feel, the verse is cooly ridden out thanks to catchy vocal lines. As the bridge strips back composition, the vocals come to the forefront. Here, another strength of the band is noticed, thanks to a neat execution of three-step harmonies that, along with a unique electronic riser, pushes listeners into the dreamy chorus.

Later, when brought back round to the bridge, electronic touches develop the section - offering new melodies that reinforce the harmonies and the chorus transition. The abrupt omission, leaving just the pairing of an acoustic guitar and intimate vocal delivery,  that signals the winding down of this Shoegazey but very much alive track, works to stamp the band’s attitude down firmly. 

Undeniably cool, undeniably Sterling Press and arguably the strongest track from the three that finalises a promising year for the band is 'What Would You Do?'. There aren’t many intros as well executed as this. From original electronic parts, that have become a motif of the singles, to a "what would you do?" sample that buries itself within a listener’s memory, helped along by rhythm guitar that serves as a reminder of the band’s fundamental essence. This energy fuels playful lyricism, knocking about with the universal parent-child talk of  ‘would you do that if they had done it too?’, that opens the track with asking "would you jump off a cliff if I told you to?".

Underneath the playfulness, a critique centered on the difficulty of maintaining an identity can be felt in lines "would you change overnight into someone new?". Backing vocals help build towards the chorus and once there, the track explodes. The critique: announced. The guitars: overdriven. The electronics: blurring subtly. All of which we are thrown into by the line "go, go chase the life that you think you need", which powerfully captures an exclusively 21st century identity crisis.

The latter half of the song is carried through by a strong electronic melody, on top of which sit notable lines, such as "know the latest trend before it hits the news", further pronouncing the social commentary rooted within a track that calls for high-energy live crowds. It is Sterling Press all the way through, and the souped-up guitar solo paired with a refrain of "what would you do" in the outro makes sure the band’s attitude, which will carry the Liverpool-based Londoners through their busiest year to date, is pronounced to the death of the track.


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