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AAA Music | 28 September 2020

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Standard Fare – 15

| On 26, Jun 2010

Standard Fare are a young band who have recently released their debut album. The single from it, ‘15’, is a bouncy little dance-pop song about the rites of passage in modern youth, the muddled relationships and loss of direction. The bright and deceptively straightforward guitar-rock sound and poetry-from-everyday-situations approach could draw lazy comparisons to a much brighter, female-fronted Arctic Monkeys with a heavy pop influence. However, behind the shining fluffy indie exterior, the hard cogs of Buzzcocks style pop-punk are ticking away in the sharp lyrics, and there is little in the way of studio magic. Everything here is crystal-clear and as it would sound live, and this adds massive kudos for possessing a sense of human personality in an industry of auto-tuned androids. The vocals are sugary yet possess the same sneer that can be found in The Buzzcocks’ songs and even if they occasionally slip into the margin of human error they have undeniable charisma, and the instruments are tight as vacuum-sealed skinny jeans and full of infectious rhythms and riffs.

The b-side ‘Understand’ tones things down a bit, throwing in an acoustic guitar, some subtle yet effective male/female vocal harmonies and a much more resigned tone, telling the story of a relationship held in secret and the hurt that comes with it. The bare-bones approach works wonders here, making the song feel incredibly genuine and even twanging some heartstrings.

Standard Fare are anything but standard in their ability to combine poetic and honest lyrics, an accessible sound, simple yet gifted musical ability, and to top it all off, a sound that is very real. At best you’ll find a deep connection with the enjoyable songs on offer. At worst, you’ll still find it impossible not to want to dance around to ’15’.

Author: Katie H-Halinski