Small scale Spring King go big on Tell Me If You Like To

Tell Me If You Like ToSpring King’s reputation precedes them. The Manchester band began life as the side project of one-man record factory Tarek Musa - who writes, produces, sings and plays drums for the group - but over time it has evolved into an unstoppable force. After a pair of EPs and a series of cracking singles, Spring King’s debut album Tell Me If You Like To has been eagerly anticipated by fans and press alike. With expectations running high a ‘passable’ or even simply ‘good’ record could be crushing. Just as well the band deliver, then.

Fittingly, Tell Me If You Like To opens with the lazily defiant “City”. In 2015 “City” became the first track ever broadcast on Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio, bringing Spring King to a global audience. Presenter Zane Lowe said that the track had boosted his spirits during the stressful months leading up to the launch and it is easy to see why. “City” is a slacker anthem, dismissing questions of identity with a one-shouldered shrug. It’s a solid start to an album that explores personal growth from conflicting angles, both striving for and dismissing it in equal measure. Alongside “City” the case ‘against’ includes the album’s twitchily energetic title track, and its omnipresent current single “The Summer”.

The latter is a cheery affair. It smacks of sea salt and midday pints, with its sunny synths and choral vocals calling to mind those few weeks mid-year when it doesn’t seem to matter if you are on top of things or not.

The campaign ‘for’ personal growth is a little more rock led. “Rectifier” examines a failed relationship, and includes the kind of percussion that will definitely cause that one guy you know to play a passionate air-drum fill. Similarly, the horror-film beat of “Demons” gives way to a spiky guitar solo minutes before Musa sings “I wanna let go of the demons”. It is as though by playing louder, or harder, the band believe they can enact an exorcism. By the end of the record the audience will agree.

Tell Me If You Like To is a relatable and energetic debut that will satisfy believers and secure converts. With summer approaching, expect to hear a lot more from Spring King.

Release: 10th June 2016, Island Records

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