Splashh – Nice N’ Sleazy – 31/05/13

It’s 10pm and Nice N’ Sleazy is still packed with chairs and tables, perhaps to hide the fact that the venue itself is only half full. ‘Last Nite’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ blast from an impeccably chosen pre-show playlist as a small but enthusiastic crowd gears up for Splashh, the young garage rockers who serve as London’s answer to the current, NME-heralded wave of lightly psychedelic Birmingham rock bands.

splashhInitially the quartet’s looseness works against them, rendering the early songs messy and structureless. Sasha Carlson’s incomprehensible slacker vocals are an acquired taste and it’s only Thomas Beale’s precisely wielded Stone Roses basslines that prevent the enterprise collapsing but as the sound improves so too does the quality of the songwriting. At its best their frenetic garage rock brings to mind The Cribs or The Vines whilst singles like ‘All I Wanna Do’ sound like The Jesus and Mary Chain in flower power t-shirts. Their debut album ‘Comfort’ has recently been pushed back to September so there are only a handful of tracks with which the audience are familiar but that doesn’t stop boisterous fans from leaping around and stealing Carlson’s microphone.

‘Vacation’ is a shimmering summer time anthem that sounds like Oasis on a day at the beach whilst the daft ‘Peanut Butter and Jelly’ packs an enormous glam-prog stomp that suddenly doubles in speed during the chorus. The penultimate track triggers an enormous stage invasion until the quartet vanishes behind a wall of revellers while their set closer features a drawn-out space-rock instrumental that nods to hippy godfathers Hawkwind, complete with female backing dancer. Sleazys may not be packed but the young quartet still know how to make a splash.

[Max Sefton]

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