Hometown: Durham, living in Newcastle
Influenced By: Palma Violets, The Libertines
Download: ‘This Ain’t A Game’
5 piece indie-rock band Hazels make anthemic tracks in exactly the manner you’d expect from Northerners. ‘This Ain’t A Game’ boasts a racing melody, tightly controlled drumbeat thanks to Pete Lavery and a vocal that Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos would be proud of. As a band that claims to be influenced by Palma Violets and The Libertines, this band would need to deliver full-bodied tunes with catchy choruses and invasive melodies: Hazels do this twice over.
‘Repeat’ has an incontestably catchy melody that will worm its way into your skull and as frontman James Gibbons sings “would you pull me under or would you let me sink?” the listener drowns in unadulterated rock. There’s epic guitar playing in ‘Hold Me Down’ and a solid team effort in the backing and lead vocal from Robbie O’Neill and Matthew Duffy.
‘Tonight’ opens with a breakdown that could make it onto any one of The Libertines albums and has a rigorous bassline (thanks to Thomas Errington), but the vocal itself an emotionally charged effort from start to finish, with the listener shouting along, “just tell me again / just tell me again / just tell me again / just tell me tonight” by the tracks conclusion.