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First Take: The 1975 – The Sound

So where exactly do we fit The 1975? They’re not a rock band, even if they’ve started to gain a hold in the hearts of fans of shiny earworms – unless you want to take your local HMV’s ‘Rock/Pop’ racking system to heart. They’re not really an indie group either – they’ve far too much understanding of the Machiavellian workings of the big pop castle for that. But equally, to call them a pop group would seem slightly weird. They’ve been ‘at it’ for years to get to this point – something which in the modern world of mainstream bands doesn’t always feel to be the case, even if it often is.

When considered properly, though, a pop band is exactly what they are – but one in the heritage of 80s titans Duran Duran, perhaps. Frontman Matt Healy understands how bravado and pop image works. At times, it’s almost as if he’s reading it straight from the discarded scraps in the 80s Smash Hits! office bin. He doesn’t always get it right – sometimes it’s downright problematic – but it’s always fascinating. Not many bands can lay claim to that.

And when they turn it on, The 1975 can rip down all those previously mentioned genre boundaries in one fell swoop. ‘The Sound’ could maybe even be their biggest moment to date. That glorious rave piano, a hook line that sticks like superglue – it’s a monster. Taken from an album with the longest title in recent memory (‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’), it’s further proof that The 1975 are cultural chameleons. Try and pin them down, and they’ll change their colours before your eyes.