Splashh have produced an exhilarating and self-assured debut that channels the past while also taking hold and sculpting it into their own technicolour soundscape.

There’s recently been a handful of groups (Peace, Sulk, Temples, etc.) channeling that point in the early 90s where indie bands, particularly in the UK, were making music that wasn’t quite Baggy, wasn’t quite Shoegaze and wasn’t quite Britpop, but a strange melange of the three.

London-based Splashh – comprising two Kiwis, an Aussie and a Brit – in some ways are also channeling the sounds of that musical intersection. Their debut record Comfort is a shimmering collection of tracks drenched in sun-kissed fuzz and reverb that would have nicely fit on the release schedule of Creation Records back in 1993.

The chiming guitars and pounding beat of opener ‘Headspins’ burst in with a nonchalant cool. Singer Sasha Carlson’s nasally snarl makes him sound a little like Liam Gallagher before the white lines wreaked havoc with his voice.

‘All I Wanna Do’ is driven by ringing guitars and a heavy bass groove, while the chorus features nice keyboard embellishments. It sounds like driving with all the windows down on a bright, warm summer day with not a cloud in the sky.

The increase in volume and distortion in the chorus of ‘Feels Like You’ takes things into a darker, more sinister space. Freedom and adventure are the overarching themes of Comfort. With a list of song titles like ‘Vacation’, ‘So Young’, ‘Lemonade’ and ‘Need It’, and a sound that is blissful and vibrant, it’s easy to see where the quartet’s heads were at when making the album.

3.5/5 stars

BY MICHAEL HARTT

Comfort is out now through Breakaway Records.

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