Indie-Rockers throw out the songwriting rulebook.
There are few emerging bands who have managed to garner the kind of devout cult following as The Assist. The indie-rockers have been on our radar for a good few years now and in that time they’ve gone from strength to strength, with their colloquial brand of intense post-Britpop earning them respect, adoration and a sense of Oasis-ness about them (not least thanks to the vocalist and guitarist being siblings).
So it’s unusual that the band would disregard that so much on their latest EP, Trouble, and take such a bold step into new genre-splitting directions. The EP is the type of statement Oasis tried to make with Be Here Now, one that takes a band’s well-established sound and embellishes it to the point of extravagance. Yet The Assist manage to pull this off flawlessly, progressing their career instead of effectively murdering it. It’s a risk that few bands would take, and only the brave will benefit.
Take Love for example. The EP opening number is the closest the band remain to their establish sound, but it’s expanded by a fascinating vocal hook and aural elements that just give it something else. There’s something, somewhere in the mix, that makes this stand out from their back catalogue and feel like the start of something new. This is followed by Fashion, a song that flicks between hyper-relaxed indie tones and a heavier britpop stomp, and Nyabinghi, which mixes the band’s indie sound with solid funk grooves and reggae vibes. It’s an unusual journey and one that no listeners could have expected. Yet miraculously it works.
Trouble is the start of something new and exciting for the band. The Assist have always had an attitude that feels like they’ll do things their own way and on their own terms, and their new EP takes that to another level. This is the sound of a band finding its feet in somewhere new, with no genre boundaries worth respecting or sounds not worth experimenting with. The Assist are unstoppable.
You can listen to Trouble on Spotify now.