No 350: The Rivers

Today's new band sound a bit like hyperactive dad-rockers: Ocean Colour Scene after ingesting a few too many Fratellis

Hometown: Brighton.

The lineup: Tom Borsberry (singer), Liam Dackombe (guitar), Ben Edleston (bass), Ben Hatwell (guitar), Steve Wellbelove (drums).

The background: Don't be fooled by the first track on their MySpace, a dance remix of their forthcoming single Got Something On Me by someone called Andrew Friendly, which sounds distinctly Teutonic and techno-ish, the sort of thing you'd imagine being produced for sweaty basement dives by men bearing handlebar moustaches and leather chaps. No, the Rivers are probably the most conventional four-square trad-rock indie guitar combo to be given the New Band of the Day treatment since, well, maybe ever, because we didn't do the Pigeon Detectives when they first emerged, we were too busy bigging up someone futuristic and exciting that day.

A five-piece from Brighton who recently supported and generally misbehaved on the road with the Kooks, the Rivers sound a bit like hyperactive dad-rockers: Ocean Colour Scene after ingesting a few too many Fratellis. You can almost see the veins bulging on the singer's neck as he bellows the girl-baiting lyrics to Got Something On Me or previous single She Gives It Around, another two-minute-tastic burst of derivative punk-pop. The words are as hackneyed as the riffs and melodies: take Knock Me Down, with its vague allusions to the mystery shadowy character known as The Man and to people who "can't wait to knock you down", which we're sure Pete Townshend might have something to say about, such as, "Hmm, that rings a bell" or "I'll see you in court".

The Rivers are part of that rabble-rousing tradition of high-energy, low-imagination guitar-bass-drums-vox thrill-rock that delights in pilfering the back catalogues of the Who, the Jam, Oasis et al, but they don't do anything with it, and they don't take it anywhere, notwithstanding the odd tempo change here and mild ska-flavour there. They'll probably do well propping up the bill at festivals, and the tabloids' rock sections, which seem to believe it's still 1995, are going mad for them. They're currently being courted by a number of major labels and name producers, they funded the release of their first singles by selling demos to EA Sports for game syncs, they've racked up over 150 gigs in the last two years and they've stockpiled 57 songs for their forthcoming debut album. This latter nugget of information might have been more impressive were it not for the fact that all their songs sound the same and/or like songs by other bands past and present.

The buzz: "These guys have the potential to become the hottest Brit rockers of 2008 ... reeks of the White Stripes and the Strokes."

The truth: These guys have the potential to become a successful gigging band around Brighton and environs.

Most likely to: Burst a blood vessel when they read this.

Least likely to: Go on tour with Buster Bloodvessel - he'd crush them, figuratively if not literally.

What to buy: Got Something On Me is released by NoCarbon on August 4, with the debut album to follow in the autumn. The band are playing this Wednesday, at Brighton's Club NME with the Ryes.

File next to: Ocean Colour Scene, the Fratellis, the Pigeon Detectives, the Kooks.


Tomorrow's new band: Saturday Morning Pictures.


Paul Lester

The GuardianTramp

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