After hearing the rip-roaring ‘London Bound’ and it’s pummelling concoction of 80s guitars and gung-ho percussion, there were many who leapt to keyboards crying “C-86! C-86!” in regards to Leeds indie-pop quartet Just Handshakes (sans the cutesy ‘(We’re British)’ for those who were familiar with their previous incarnation). Given, it is jangly, shambly and there are spates of powerful pop glory, and regardless of genre, it’s terrific.
Now we’ve got the full-length record, Say It, clutched in our restless hands. It does lose some of that ’86 sound, and develops the primitive indie into something bigger – there are still moments the resemble the pioneering genre, but on the whole this is something grander. It’s very spatially aware, soaring into cavernous canyons one minute and tucking itself into a tiny crevice the next; their tonal shifts are expertly controlled. Despite dropping the latter half of their original moniker, there is still a sweet vein in Just Handshakes, and it’s evident they’ve not quite lost their twee edge, though it’s not a fixture of the sound.
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