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The Delays

World Class Brit-Pop for Less

The Delays raise an interesting question. Is there any room in America today for well-produced, exuberant, thickly textured Brit-pop? With the Strokesian garage rock revolution seemingly turning back the British Tide, one wonders if the future UK transplants to America will more likely resemble Franz Ferdinand and The Libertines than Coldplay or Blur.

Regardless of what happens over here, it's clear that the gears are still turning across the Atlantic, and The Delays are a comfortably familiar reminder of what some careful production and pretty melodies can accomplish. Finishing up an American tour promoting their first album "Faded Seaside Glory", the Delays offer up a decidedly British brand of pop. A family band, Greg Gilbert provides soaring lead vocals atop his brother Aaron's lush keyboard arrangements. Along with drummer Rowley Fox and his bass-playing brother Colin, The Delays glide between euphoric stomps, ethereal harmonic flights, and intimate ballads. One can quickly draw favorable comparisons to U2, Travis, Coldplay, post-Tubthumping Chumbawumba, and early Radiohead.

Even with their influences as clear as they are, The Delays maintain a certain freshness to their music. Greg Gilbert's vocal style directs the underlying arrangements well, without dominating. His vocal timbre occupies an interesting spot somewhere between Tom Yorke and Freddy Mercury, without ever reaching the climaxes achieved by either. The arrangements borrow often, but never frivolously or without intention. The hooks are neither sharp nor obvious, but tickle the ear nonetheless. This is thoughtful, pretty, carefully composed music, and if that is the end The Delays seek, they have succeeded admirably.

Even with a Top-40 UK hit ("Hey Girl") and a contract with UK industry maverick Rough Trade, it's doubtful that a band like The Delays will receive much attention in today's market. However, it is conditions like this that allow us lucky kids in America to see world class music for a fraction of what we'd have to pay otherwise. Check out The Delays- brit-pop fans especially. You'll find it pleasantly reminiscent, lovingly crafted, and superbly executed. It might even- and I mean might- get your feet moving.

The Delays