Made up of two equally fantastic sides, Team Picture’s ‘Recital’ is quite possibly one of the best debuts of the year.
Though a cliche, Team Picture’s debut mini album ‘Recital’ makes the listener long for more. This is an album that will certainly be seen as an end of year favourite. The Leeds six-piece have been consistently releasing music for the past couple of years, but on ‘Recital’, the band have really come into their own.
The band intended for the album to be split into two “wonky” sides, in which the first four songs consist of the “cleaner” side and the last three to be guitar-driven. Album opener ‘(I Have a) Little Secret’ begins this mission statement perfectly. A track bursting with 80’s nostalgia, synths burst throughout the track, providing a synthetic basis for the 80’s alt-pop sound. With driven guitar (an ever-present of this album) providing a powerhouse foundation for the track, this is a fantastic opener for an album that truly feels special.
‘(I Have a) Little Secret’ segues perfectly into ‘Strange Year’. Blasting straight into the limelight with it’s Klaxons-like main synth line, this is a track that is perfect for a stadium crowd; a rousing track that combines the vocal harmonies of many of the band, this track is stadium-rock showmanship with an 2000’s indie rock aesthetic.
‘(I Want Your) Life Hack’ is the full turning point for this album. This is a thunderbolt of a song. This is where the influence of producer Matt Peel (Pulled Apart By Horses, Eagulls) is really felt. This is song is the home of distortion. Thunderous guitar lines dominate the track, their layer of fuzz demanding attention. With the punk-like delivery of the vocals, this is a track that is inescapable in its power, almost bordering on the intensity of bands like Metz and the aforementioned Pulled Apart By Horses.
Album closer ‘Love Irritant’ feels at time to be bordering on insanity. Covered in a layer of psychedelic fuzz, this is a track that wants to explode. The first ninety seconds of this track build and build, chanted vocals on top of synth and guitar melodies that are desperate for release. Then everything stops. A whirring wail of guitar feedback fill the track, while soft guitars slowly announce themselves, and then it hits. A guitar line that echoes around the track, a culmination that provides that burst of guitar goodness that feels like a true release.
Though not the closer, ‘Theme From Flint’, a seven minute epic, shows that this band can not be put into a box. A song that is one part the synths and cleaner sound of the first half, but also part distortion, fuzz and all-out guitar freak-out of the latter part of the album. Team Picture have shown that they are capable of anything on their debut album.