Kubichek! / The Sonic Hearts - Manchester Roadhouse - 12.03.07

A Liverpudlian five piece, The Sonic Hearts parade a vocal twin to Dave McCabe, at times and a light guitar strut that hints at skiffle and is rounded off by the wispy fluting of Kirsty Donaldson. Naturally, some scouse scene stereotyping is going to follow these around like a shadow. The quintet is using catchy rhythm to deliver feel-good pop and dreamy folk that is shunted along by some indie kicks. The slow and serious ‘Hold On’, represents a longing departure from the otherwise free-spirited musicianship.  ‘Honey’ helps take their range away from stereotype territory and closer towards The Magic Numbers and The Mamas and The Papas, than anyone else. It provides some energy and soul to the end of a quaint and impression leaving thirty minutes.

Bemused, youthful conjecture is fired out immediately from the fledgling Geordie four-piece Kubichek!, who struggle to get the impact of 80s rock rush across, as the sound is all over the place like the Chelsea defence early on.  In town to promote forthcoming album ‘Not Enough Night’, but it is the marching drum beat and chugging guitar led, non-album track ‘Shot’ that gets ears pricked up early on for its sombre, but driving nature. This is the point where the technical difficulties are surmounted and there appears to be no looking back. Cheeky Tyneside banter is exhibited from the front three Alan McDonald (vocals/guitar), Mark Nelson (lead guitar) and Michael Coburn (bass), who each add to the vocal variety that helps to create the moody and ranging projection that ties the rustic songs together. Languid and building instrumentals with a pedestrian drumbeat centrepiece taken from the Pink Floyd and Mogwai songbook, imbues the mid-set stage with some aching reflection.

A flash of strutting indie with a disco tinge and a shinier vocal gloss, ‘Roman Is Better’ unveils the reason why this feral four troupe were selected to tour with The Editors last year. It also shows that they are capable of introducing themselves to regular play on mainstream radio. A Joel Pott vocal trail trickles through the yearning, slow groove of ‘Start As We Mean To’. The reception from the 100 or so attendees, intrigued by the brooding and impact switching song crafting, grows as the evening progresses.  The natural conclusion provided by new single ‘Nightjoy’, gives matters a defiant, post-mod rush that builds a feisty chorus around a wandering, flickering guitar attack and robust percussion. This could be their anthem that all bands have to have, if they are to get anywhere near to achieving longevity these days. Accessible exploration was the theme for tonight and those adventurous enough to attend, seemed to enjoy the journey.

David Adair


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