Agility – Foreign Land EP Review
Agility advertise their debut EP as such: “Imagine The Verve, Jeff Buckley and Nirvana went on a psychotic drug fuelled binge and boarded a ghost train captained by Ian Brown. Three days later the train resurfaces from the earth’s core.”
Nineties revivalism is certainly back in style. Violent Soho brought back straight-up grunge, Yuck are channelling early Smashing Pumpkins. My Bloody Valentine have just remastered and re-released Loveless. It’s only a matter of time before Kurt Cobain holograms are touring the world. And it’s these heady nineties influences Agility are pushing to assert as their targets of revivalism. The truth, however, is that Agility seem to revive a different suburb of nineties nostalgia. Days of the New, anyone?
We don’t know what kind of “drug fuelled binge” would have led to the absolutely drab ‘My House’, but it’s sure as shit not one Nirvana or The Verve would have bothered with. Sure, you can definitely hear the influence of Jeff Buckley on ‘Rainbow Youth’. But unfortunately Agility feel a little too under the influence, and fall victim to imitation as opposed to referencing. Similarly with ‘Goodbye Jeff’; is that a pun? ‘Andy Bell’ comes across as a b-side from Pablo Honey (the only Radiohead album nobody says “you have to listen to!”). Matt Stapleton’s vocals recall Damon Albarn on the EP’s closer ‘Foreign Lands’.
There are plenty of healthy references here, but it’s hard to tell if Agility have made a concise effort to try and market their music to follow a current trend in music or whether they’re just unaware of what they really sound like. Does anyone remember The Calling? Or who sang that song ‘Hanging by a Moment’? That’s more Agility’s ball park.
Who knows, as the wheel of revivalism spins towards the late nineties, Agility may turn out to be ahead of their time. Or maybe not.