My first introduction to Home Counties was their support slot for DITZ at The Lexington in London earlier this year and I was blown away by them and the strength of their songs; even more so when I subsequently found out it was their first gig. They have warmth to their angular pop which is refreshing when so many bands in this arena go for frowns and frostiness. Bristol-based Home Counties are Will Harrison (vocals/guitar), Conor Kearney (guitar), Sam Woodroffe (bass), Barn Peiser Pepin (synth/percussion/vocals) and Dan Hearn (drums).
‘Redevelopment’ is Home Counties’ first single release and starts with a two-guitar interplay that woke me right up and put a huge smile on my face. It’s the herald for a driving four on the floor beat that powers the song through a hectic and enlivening journey just shy of three minutes. But despite the brisk pace it does contain a few stop-start moments to allow you to catch your breath while singer Will slogan-shouts lines like “the future of concrete anonymity” or “The conflicts of unaffordable luxury apartments” ahead of everyone anthem-singing ‘Redeve-redevelopment’.
Home Counties cram so much into the song it’s like trying to get as many people as possible into a Mini* but unlike the Mini challenge is does not feel crowded; everything has its place and every nook and cranny is perfectly filled with those dancing guitars, pumping bass, swirling synths, a pounding woodblock and the foundations of this redevelopment: the human-powered metronomic drums. This song makes you want to get up and dance; and that dance would look like someone trying to do the robot while putting a cover on a duvet, on roller skates, on the moving platform from Flash Gordon. As a first release this bodes very well for the future of Home Counties; it bodes very well indeed.
* The record currently stands at 27 for a classic Mini
Review by Paul F Cook