This week, our SOTW is Here’s The Thing – the unapologetically cynical new single from Deep Down Happy, the debut album of terribly English indie group Sports Team.
For all those normal people out there (like me) that do not care one jot for playing, watching, following or talking about sport of any kind, rest assured that this song is not a football anthem and the band that created it, Sports Team, have as much to do with sport as Led Zeppelin do with the Hindenburg disaster. If you haven’t heard of the group, they are six straight-outta-Cambridge 20-somethings who smash together guitars and drums whilst frontman Alex Rice shouts ironic, often humorous, upbeat and also slightly dour lyrics into your ear holes.
Starting off with a guitar riff that instantly grabs your ear lobes and tells you to pay attention, it’s not long before there’s a split-second drop, the drums kick in and, at exactly the same time, Alex’s vocals start. His voice has an inflection that instantly sets it apart from anything I’ve heard before, combined with a conversational (and sometimes insistent shout-singing, if that’s a thing) singing style that is down-to-earth and relatable whilst remaining refreshingly unusual.
The lyrics are, on a first listen, quite well-observed and funny (made me laugh anyway, which I s’pose doesn’t mean much) but on repeat listens your brain catches on to what they’re singing about and they take on more of an ironic flavour, with a side-order of existential crisis gravy. I love a bit of social commentary me, especially when it’s wrapped up in a head-bashingly good beat. I think it’s the “If you just close your eyes then everything’s alright” bit that gets me.
Deep thoughts on the lies of society aside, the drum beat and guitar riffs in this song are genuinely, wonderfully fun – listen to this in the car and it’s impossible not to sing along and bop your head to the total bemusement of the policeman in the next lane trying to get you to pull over. Perhaps my favourite part is the last thirty seconds of the song, when the vocals get increasingly louder, more shouty and interspersed with maniacal laughter – as if the whole band is going mad as a hatter when the song reaches its crescendo. Which is kind of the point of the song I guess, right? Maybe? Who asked me anyway? I’m not remotely qualified for this, it’s just a great song OK. Giz it a listen why doncha bucko?