Pondarosa stepped onto the scene with their debut single in March 2019, so they are five relatively new “kids” on the block. Warning: The random nostalgic references don’t end here. The band describe themselves as “indie, rock ‘n’ roll” and pride themselves on their “timeless sound which meshes Britpop, indie rock, shoegaze and dream-pop”. Their new single Bright Lights is due for release January 31st 2020, so I had a listen.
Did I actually step into the DeLorean this morning instead of my trusty VW Up? Have I been “Back to the Future(d)”?. I quickly checked my rear-view mirror to make sure I didn’t once again have teeth like a row of bombed houses and badly crimped hair. Nah. Straight hair, straight teeth (thank you time, for straighteners and braces). But it’s 2020, and there is definitely a late eighties/early nineties sound filling my ears, and it’s new!
The intro is very, The Cure. The nostalgic jangly guitar riff immediately threw me right back to my childhood. It’s safe to say for me; it was a “feel good” start.
When the vocals kicked in, the nostalgia continued, but I was personally transported to a different era of my own. I was a hopeless university student again! I picked out that old familiar Northern Mancunian sound as soon as “Do you remember”, a fitting lyric to start with given the amount of memories flying through my head. It made me yearn for a good old Manchester night out. The chorus is catchy, fun and the harmonies are solid. One of my favourite elements in any high energy track is an instrumental break that starts small and ends big. Bright lights ticks this all-important box for me. Overall, I could easily throw some questionable shapes to this after a few beers.
Bright lights reflects the spirit of the best city in the world; the capital of the North! It’s bright, confident, energetic and proud of its roots. The vocals and instrumental worked in a way I didn’t expect, and where’s the fun in the expected?! The fresh combination added a modern and unique twist to an old school sound bringing it right into the here and now. These guys are true to their own, and I get the impression that they aren’t afraid to push boundaries.
The only thing that rattled me slightly was the sight of a bucket hat on one of the five band members.
Where some may attribute a bucket hat to the era of “Britpop fashion”; a time where clothes were a clear expression of musical taste (Liam Gallagher wore a bucket hat, so too did his fans), Kevin and Perry ruined it for me. Great film. Not however a pair known for their high-quality fashion. Otherwise, in the wise words of the legend that is Brandon Flowers: “It’s indie rock ‘n’ roll for me”.
Bright Lights is due for release on the 31st of Jan. If you’re after a modern twist on a nostalgic sound, or if you love the Northern spirit, or indeed a bucket hat (you weirdo), check it out. You won’t be disappointed.