The Reytons are a wonderfully complete vision of Post (Early) Arctic Monkeys Indie Pop. It’s over stating the idea to say these guys would never sell their fans a weird lounge pop existential nightmare set in an imaginary casino five albums from now. Nope, they’re going to keep it local. The Rectums (I mean Raytons) are club circuit Indie for Club circuit indies sake. Shed Seven knew they’d never be Oasis. They never wanted to be (not in their heart of hearts). They we’re drawn to the smell of cider and the dry roasted of The Barfly’s and backrooms as much as we were.
The Reytons will not betray you. They will treat every single release to a slice of lime (I mean slice of life) a streets of Northern England promo video. Whatever The First Arctic Monkeys Albums Says They Are, That’s What They Are.
They’ve built a loyal fanbase with a series of EPs over the last four years. Their debut Kids Off The Estate explaining the bands name in it’s title track over jangle pop that owed Cast and The La’s as much as it did Turner’s Mob. 2017 feels like a life time ago at this stage of the new reality. Second EP It Was All So Monotonous expanded that sound and upped the ante on the song titles. If you’ve got a five track EP featuring Claire’s Law, The Tallest Man In The Nightclub and Billy Big Bollocks it has got to be worth a listen. By the time they got to 2018 and EP number three Alcopops and Charity Shops the strategy is really clear. Much like AM (sorry I’m not only going to compare them to Arctic Monkeys) and their Beneath The Boardwalk, Five Minutes With… and Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys EP’s in just a few low profile releases they have built an arsenal of songs where every track is greeted like a bonsai hit single. Eager fanbases can consume five tracks entirely. They’ll sing those five songs back to you like they’re the hits of the last two years of A Sides.
Do that four times and you sort of owe the world a classic debut album. After a series of single track digital releases in 2019 and 2020 The Reytons have just released EP number four May Seriously Harm You And Others Around You. I can’t criticise the band for doing things their own way at all because every one of the six tracks on the new EP should be an indie club hit in 2021.
Red Smoke has some scrunge and grunge in it’s guitars and reminds me as much of Helders sojourn into Iggy Pop’s band with Josh from QOTSA as it does the Humbug era. It positively seethes with frustration and is the most delicious thing they’ve done to date. It’d hold it’s own sharing a stage with High-Vis. Behind Enemy Lines uses tight Jammy indie to tell the tale of the netherworld a town center can become after kicking out and how dark it can all get when the late night turns to last night. Tears In The Taxi Rank is a fine specimen of the archetype. It’s made for pogoing and singing along to in a sweaty packed room. 2021 is so cruel this may as well be a period drama about another era in history. Broke Boys Cartel keeps it all a bit ‘Whey’ with a pounding gallop and lyrics of low life criminality. It’s clear they’re having a riot making these videos too. Jealous Type is the song I’ve chosen to highlight the band at their best. It starts with a guitar solo. That’s a big plus round here. The ping tight groove and rolling rhythm section show how muscular this band have become. I bet they feel like caged animals right now being denied the rush of playing this stuff live. The final track on the EP is the thoughtful and introspective Shoebox. If the video for that doesn’t bring a tear to the corner of your eye you may have a heart of stone.
Indie Circuit Rock And Roll is like a home away from home for millions of music fans. Since before Britpop working class guitar music that speaks to the working guys and gals has played on transit van radios, at cubicle desks and (especially) in the portable devices tucked into school bags across this island nation. The Reytons dream to sit with The Jam, The Enemy, Kasabian, The Libertines, Stereophonics and Glasvegas as bands held dear by the very people their songs are about. They’re going to enjoy the next decade I’d wager. They’ll have a right one.