Friday, 5 May 2006

Album Review: Red Thread

Keith, the hotly-tipped Manchester four-piece with the most Google-unfriendly name since The The, finally release their debut album through Lucky Number on 29th May. Red Thread is released on the back of last year's excellent and critically acclaimed, Hold That Gun EP.

Back There is a low-key but confident introduction, which shows a band proudly wearing their Smiths influences on their sleeves. Killing Me continues in the same vein, but before Keith can be written off as one-trick indie pretenders, they demonstrate their versatility with a flurry of rich and varied tracks.

While Hold That Gun is sumptuous, jangling pop, Mona Lisa's Child offers a burst of disco grooves. That Keith embrace of elements of dance music should come as no surprise, after all, they play label mate Sebastian Tellier's masterpiece La Ritournelle regularly as part of their live set. Later, they revisit their Mancunian ancestry with some New Order-esque keyboards on Leave It Now, For Now.

But there are yet more feathers to Keith's bow. Faces is a drifting, somber number that is preceded by Gunshot Revelry, an overwhelmingly atmospheric ballad that recalls elements of The Beta Band. Towards the album's conclusion lies The Miller, an organic jam, which begins with riffs played on an Aztec tongue drum. It's further proof that Keith might pay just homage to their heritage, but they have more than enough skill to make their own imprint in the annals of Manchester's music.

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