Among the gigs that South Coast indie rock four piece hailing from Portsmouth, Crystal Tides have played to date was a set entertaining Manchester City’s fans at a Champions League semi-final at the Etihad Stadium and it’s not hard to imagine their songs being belted out on the terraces.
There’s a big dollop of singalong pop magic to their new single ‘Thunder’. It starts slowly, with lead singer and guitarist Billy Gregory alone, but as it turns out that’s just a teaser for the moment when the rest of the group – lead guitarist, Harry Knowles, bassist George Regan and drummer Sam Pennington – pounce into action and throw themselves into a super upbeat groove. The pop edge is enhanced by some great backing vocals, but the whole thing has an infectious feel about it. Clocking in somewhere between Vampire Weekend’s Afro-tinged sound, Blossoms’ layered guitar offering and the distinctly un-rock jangle of C86 indie.
According to the band, the song was written about “all the people who are telling other people’s stories as if they were their own…usually to impress other people – they steal your thunder and take credit for something that hasn’t even happened to them.” That’s them told!
Other items worthy of a mention include a truly excellent guitar solo – we’re not sure which of the two guitarists is responsible, but whichever it was deserves acclaim – that provides an excellently off-the-hook release amid some otherwise very tightly controlled performance. Billy Gregory’s voice is also worth highlighting too – it’s rich and full of character.
But then that goes for everything here, wrapped up in a sound that keeps the rawness and spontaneity of their live sound intact but emphasises the catchy pop element to the extent it would hold its own on most radio station’s playlists. A shining future surely awaits them.