Tuesday 16 April 2013

The Agency... - She/The Temple

Single review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

From what we've heard, it's been a long road for North Easterners The Agency... to get to the point where they're on the verge of putting out this double A-side single, and they have every right to be proud of their achievement. Both tracks here aren't the work of a handful of people who've learnt to play instruments having a pop at writing some songs of their own. This feels like genuine talent at work. Telltale signs are all too obvious: the spaciousness, the unhurried delivery, keeping the pace low and brooding where needed and not being tempted to overdo it; the lyrics, they sound like the work of an imaginative brain, not your usual Beginner's Guide To Rhyming Words nonsense; the musicianship; solid but not workmanlike; highly competent but not overcooked.

There's a moodiness to both songs. 'She' is quite cinematic, almost like Tindersticks caught in a Western movie. It's telling that they put the slower song first. It is (slightly) better, but less experienced bands may have opted for the higher tempo, thinking this will attract more interest. It's the spooky, misty, evocative 'She' that grabs the attention most. When, on 'The Temple', they up the pace, it's to suit the song, not to please the public. This track is another dark tale, on a similar wavelength to say, Grinderman. The guitars are sharpened and raw, the drums allowed to flow more freely. If they can get more material out this year there's a good chance of gaining some momentum, and cult stardom seems well within their grasp.

The Agency's website

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