Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Shout Out Louds – The Lexington, London 02/04/13

08 April 2013, 12:20 | Written by George O'Brien

There must be something in the water in Sweden. The county’s musical proficiency and prolificacy is increasingly mind-boggling, but as the rest of the world is waking up to its vast array of pop experts, there is one export that has been gracefully going about their business for over a decade, and what a brilliant business they run.

Shout Out Louds unveiled their fourth studio album, Optica, earlier this year, only their fourth in ten years. The time taken for these records to appear immediately implies the quality and careful approach the Stockholm five-piece adopt when it comes to the recording process. Without a major release for the LP in the UK, a slight air of mystery floats around the band: Even though they seem to possess more indie-pop anthems than many of their household name contemporaries, they remain peculiarly and criminally underrated.

Despite the aforementioned mystery, their London fan-base have come out in force, swarming the Pentonville pub’s upstairs. Futuristic flashing stalks of light and an ambient crescendo of noise washes over the stage to welcome the band. “This is the first show we’ve sold out on this tour”, front-man Adam Olenius delivers this news to the typically bustling Lexington with a smile, “so it’s kind of a big deal for us.”

‘Walking In Your Footsteps’, with its entirely uplifting whistling motif, sounds so warm and instilling a joyous tone early in the set. In fact the five on stage waste no time in stirring up a genuine festival-like atmosphere; the nature of so many of their songs is that they feel completely familiar – whether you knew them before tonight or not you can’t help but smile and nod along as though it’s you’re very own playlist.

The Cure comparison is unmistakable at times but takes nothing away from the individuality of the set. Experience ensures everything is tight and polished from songs like the ‘Comeback’, (their proper indie anthem) to the glistening riffs of ’14th of July’ and an elongated version of ‘Illusions’. Songs drop and rebuild with relentless drum fills: Fading in and out with immaculate and satisfying precision.

It is a proper-length set, complete with an obliging three-song encore that gets better and better as the band (and the increasingly excitable onlookers) get completely into this festival atmosphere being championed. Intensely relentless drumming, thrashing chords from atop the thudding bass kick and even a trip into the crowd, mounting the soundboard complete this wonderful facade and cap a performance that is as smile-inducing as it is impressive.

Only one question remains really after a set of such quality – when will Shout Out Louds, and their extensive catalogue of indie-rock hits find their rightful place on people’s lips and stereos, and get belted out in their home away from home, a raucous festival tent?

Shout Out Louds return to London with an XOYO show in June – more information and tickets here.

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