Release Date: Jun 4, 2013
Record label: Kanine Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Noise Pop, Shoegaze
"I need a long vacation, some place to clear my mind" sings dreamy-voiced frontman Sasha Carlson on one of Comfort's many highlights. While not exactly conforming to the stereotypical slacker ideology, it could be consecrated as a statement of intent where Splashh are concerned. Formed in the early part of 2012 by Australian-born singer/guitarist Carlson and fellow antipodean guitar player Toto Vivian, they didn't even have a rhythm section prior to booking their first gig.
This Anglo-Antipodean quartet are often portrayed as lo-fi nuts chasing summer highs, as bands like Mazes or Bos Angeles were before them, but that’s not quite right. Splashh’s debut album, though masked in the tropical hazes of those acts, possesses a heartbroken despondency. This is most evident on ‘Green & Blue’, when frontman Sasha Carlson pines “Where have you gone?” over riffs soaked with tear-stained hopelessness.
Splashh might be based in Hackney but their founding members come from the other side of the globe. Toto Vivian and Sasha Carlson, an Aussie and a Kiwi respectively, formed Splashh in February last year, since when they’ve wasted no time in writing songs and playing shows. They’ve now expanded to a four-piece with the addition of Thomas Beal and Jacob Moore (forming the rhythm section).
Formed in London via Australia and New Zealand, Splashh rushed onto the scene with as much noise and bravado as their shoegaze-inspired debut, Comfort, demands. Without so much as a rhythm section in place before their first booked show, Splashh have come a long way in a short amount of time since they formed in the back end of 2012. From the outset they combined sun-drenched melodies and a sense of unhinged creativity, facets that are still evident on this release.
Having recently attracted considerable praise via a triptych of mildly heady singles, London-based foursome Splashh described their essentially neo-psychedelic sound as being comprised of “Distorted grooves. Dreamy nostalgia. Melody” in a Line Of Best Fit interview late last year. Whilst such an assertion in the depths of winter from a band of their ilk will naturally induce half-visions of sunny days happily doing nothing, one wonders if Comfort, their debut full-length effort goes as far to deliver a worthy – and indeed memorable – soundtrack to doing just that.
Déjà vu is a weird old quirk of human memory, and so is déjà entendu – the strong, unshakable sensation of having heard something before. Splashh are a band that provide it in droves; ‘Comfort’ is a debut steeped in a vague, hazy familiarity, hurled together into one great big wonderful pastiche. It feels like music that has graced dusty record players, and the buzzing radio of a beat-up Mustang screaming down a dusty boulevard.