The Byrne Notice

New Band: Splashh

splashh Culture // Music 

Let me guess: surf rock?
Ok, so the name gives it away. And yeah, we know, everyone and their brother does surf guitar, or beach rock, or cites Brian Wilson as an influence these days. But hold your judgey horses for a sec because Splashh is actually doing something different. The foursome breeds their feedback-heavy scene rock from a Hackney, London bedroom, not a Brooklyn loft, so there’s that UK indie rock vibe rather than the uber low-fi, mumbled US stuff.

Ok. So how did they form?

Vocalist Toto Vivian, guitarists Sasha Carlson and Thomas Beal, and drummer Jacob Moore formed early this year, and have already set to work putting themselves on the web, and not for nothing; well-composed, winding instrumental work—guitar solos that sound drugged up, in the best way. It shows a lot of promise, with less leaning on the synth as their peers tend to do. This may be a house project, but they’re far too well-composed to be a fleeting youthful venture.

And their sound?
It’s complex. At first, you’d think they were a bit minimalist: low voices, super fuzzy tones, barely there riffs—their single, Need It, has the fastest guitar tempo of all their work, and even that is sluggish—and repetitive lyrics (“I want it/ I need it”). But then you really listen, and realize how layered it is. Zoned-out, but not toned-down. Skip the Beach House comparisons, what Splashh does is, well, splashier. And a bit more emotive, in a raw, “recorded in a basement with quite a lot of feelings and passion for playing music” way. You could compare them to quite a few bands of days past, but we’ll stick to angsty Dick Dale in a haze of pot smoke.

So don’t lump them in with everyone else?

Give them a listen and that won’t even be a question. Sure, you’ll recognize their reference points since drugged, hazy guitar solos aren’t exactly a new thing but they definitely have their own sound. Sunny seeming, but thunderstorms underneath. Give a listen on Soundcloud, and stay tuned for an album.

-- Mickie Meinhardt

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