Bands to Watch #181: Super U

By on Wednesday, 19th May 2010 at 12:00 pm

With the seemingly omnipresent revival in synth/new wave pop of late, perhaps some of you’d like to take a “U” turn and revisit the Britpop phenomenon instead. Love or hate it, there’s no denial that rather bizarre era produced some brilliant bands, many of which stayed under-appreciated and remained unknown.

So if you find yourself floating back to the early ‘90s to rediscover bands of said genre, check out Super U, a five-piece Brighton band that have recently knocked out a spectacular album. “We Live In Bazakhstan” sparkles with fine elements of pop, folk, rock and indie.

“What News From Cornwall?” the band’s opening track, might as well be the post- noughties version of the Blur track, “Parklife.” I don’t mean that in the rip-off sort of way, either. Rather, it’s the similar and oblique manner that greets you in the morning as you fumble around trying to make sense of the time and day. As an added bonus, the purpose of a flute has been found again in this track.

The upbeat and poppy numbers continue throughout the album, too. What’s so special about the LP is the balance of creativity plus influences which evolve in most of the tracks. Take for instance, the stripped back song, “The Word”, where the simple strumming of an acoustic guitar never sounded so infectious. You can also hear a rather wonderful melody reminiscent of legendary band, The Las, in this one.

The contagious plucking of guitar strings carries on tracks like “A Better Way” and “We Hang On” is a shambolic rag-tag tune that would sit nicely as a Bluetones (remember them, anyone?) standout. Furthermore, the rather frantic pace of the “The Brighton Blank” sees a sublime ivory tinkling while the song on the whole rolls on a wavy sound texture. Meanwhile album closer “Scales Are Falling From My Eyes” is a short and snappy tune that whirls in just under two minutes.

Both songs above, like many of the overall tracks, demonstrate the varied abilities of Super U. Likewise, the album flows at a very smooth pace, ticking in just over 30 minutes long. So if you find yourself yearning for the Britpop days, take a glorious step back in time with “Welcome to Bazakhstan” by emerging band Super U.


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