EP Review: “Keep Your Love” by Pages

St Albans three piece Pages have been building up a reputation for a few months now as one of the most interesting and fun indie-synth rock bands to emerge in the local area and they have just released their new EP, Keep Your Love. The three-track long EP is a beautiful set of tracks, showcasing the variety of skills the band possess, both lyrically and musically. The band are made up of Matt on lead vocals and guitar, Danny on bass, and James on drums. The sound of their music is similar to bands like The 1975, Two Door Cinema Club or Foals, mixing indie rock with synth-pop brilliantly. But the usage of synth sounds doesn’t take away from the rawness and DIY bite their music has. It’s very chilled and relaxed indie pop, with the heaviness of the guitar and Matt’s blurred vocals giving it a more exciting and intriguing sound. The EP opens with Keep Your Love, which has a soothing indie rock sound to it. Matt’s vocals are quite harsh and cutting in this, with James’ steady drumming and Danny’s intricate bass riffs tying it together perfectly. The riff is quite heavy, and very catchy. The chorus is really great to listen to, with that deep bass line running throughout the whole track. There’s an element of distortion to Matt’s voice too, giving the track a retro indie rock sound, with the quirkiness of the guitar keeping it fresh and modern sounding. Despite there being similarities to bands like The 1975, Pages’ music is a lot grittier with really brilliant guitar riffs building up throughout the title track.

The second track is very similar to The 1975 (perhaps tracks like She Lays Down) in terms of the raw vocal and the softness of the guitar; Amber. The synth sound on Amber is exercised beautifully on this track, with the guitar delicate and intricate from the start. Danny’s bass is deep and vivid too; it’s not as loud or as cutting as it is on the rest of the EP, but is played well enough to give the track more structure and framework. The track reminds me a little bit of Pink Floyd’s Cluster One (from The Division Bell) through the rolling riffs played by Matt throughout. James’ drumming is soft and controlled on Amber too, with a synth pad being used to give the track extra momentum and impact. The track speeds up half way through with a more raw beat kicking in, giving Amber a sudden rock’n’roll shape up. The drumming becomes louder too, with the bass line becoming more complex. The synth sound continues, with a gorgeous synthetic overlay on the track which plays over Matt’s brilliant guitar solo. The guitar definitely becomes a lot more raucous, making the track a lot more intense and exciting (especially when performed live).

The final track on the EP is The Road, which opens with an unreal guitar riff; the bass is really powerful on this track, with the guitar’s rolling riffs cutting through the track. Matt’s voice also sounds a lot more pure and raw on this too, and it’s a bit deeper too which helps add to the intensity of the track. The riff cuts into short sharp chord-playing in the chorus, with James adding to this sound with his heavy, steady drumming. The best thing about the whole EP is how well the individual talents of James, Danny and Matt are tied together, and how well their playing showcase these individual elements. The construction of the tracks is blinding, with an extremely professional sound to them. The sound of the EP makes it seem like a professionally recorded EP from a well established band, not from such a small local band. The EP really promises a lot for Pages, and you can listen to the tracks on Bandcamp or SoundCloud.

Pages also feature on my Bands to Watch in 2017 post, and you can read my interview with them and live review of their Horn gig (7.01.2016)

Pages: (L to R) James Burwell, Danny Cheeswright, & Matt Kersey

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