Liverpool indie-pop band Those Fantastic Things last single “Don’t Feel” has picked up a lot of support on various regional radio including airplay on BBC Wales.
Why is pop such a dirty word? Those Fantastic Things prove it’s not, with an album of unbridled energetic songs that rarely exceed two and a half minutes.
“I Never Left”, produced and co-written by David Harry from 90s Dance band Oceanic, is jam packed with hooks, crisp drum beats and John Carpenter-esque synth sounds. Such is their commitment to a pop ethic, the 10 songs clock in at just under 30 minutes.
“It’s all about the chorus”, Paul Donnelly, the man behind the band says. “That’s why so often on the album, we start with it, or it comes in after 20 seconds. We’re not afraid to hammer it home”.
“There are meatier, longer songs like “Malaise” or “I Wanna Go Home”, but they don’t particularly hang around either. “The singles aren’t shy in repeating the main phrase of the chorus and that’s because we didn’t want anybody in any doubt what song they’d just heard – nobody would listen to “Don’t Feel”, and wonder what the song is called afterwards.”
Themes on the album range from social media obsession ((She Looks Best in) Black and White), personal struggle (Malaise) and war (I Wanna Go Home) and are often delivered with a shot of bile from Donnelly. ‘I’d burn you to the ground, and salt the earth, so that nothing would ever grow from the soil’ he snarls about his old school on title track, “I Never Left”.
A shoestring budget, an underheated studio, health issues and a groundhog day recording schedule reflect the making of this album, but only add to the true commitment to the music.
“Pop to us means The Beatles on “She loves you”, it’s Echo and the Bunnymen on Rescue, it’s Nirvana on “Teen Spirit”. It’s basically a song with an easy to follow structure and a great chorus. That’s why we identify the album as pop”.
Whatever genre the album falls into, once you’ve entered the world of Those Fantastic Things, you may never want to leave.
The song is a nostalgic journey into the band’s former school days, built upon bold and catchy guitar riffs and a punchy chorus.
The song reflects the whole album, which is filled with crisp drumbeats, infectious guitar riffs and lyrics which delve into personal and contemporary themes.