Monday 30 July 2012

Trails and Ways - Mtn Tune

I don't know whether California quartet Trails and Ways are being completely sincere when they list Vanilla Ice as an influence on their Facebook page, but for the sake of my sanity, it's probably best to assume that they're having a laugh.

Their latest single, "Mtn Tune", is a breezy slice of summer-filled joy, which reminds me of an earthier version of Two Door Cinema Club, with hearty female vocals and little nuggets of Paul Simon thrown in intermittedly for good measure. And not a single Queen sample in sight, thank goodness.

"Mtn Tune" is available now as a free download.

Saturday 28 July 2012

Droids - Droids E.P

Of all the wonderful artists from Derry that have been making a mark in 2012 (of which there are many), perhaps the loudest and most riff-heavy outfit have been four-piece Droids. Their first few tracks have picked up by radio stations and bloggers alike (including this one), and now they are about to unleash their self-titled E.P on the unsuspecting public.

Although admittedly I am not a big fan of metal in the slightest, I have to say that the E.P is an rather interesting one. The guitars have been set firmly to 11 most of the way through, and the vocals tend to be a little on the shouty side. But what is great about the release is that despite the noise, the band have never forgotten the importance of a strong hook and melody.

The towering riff of "Astromech & Protocol" is still as strong as it was when it was first unleashed, and the heavy-funk inspired riff of "God Doesn't Grant a Steady Hand" has a sleek groove going for it. The final track on the E.P, "Recognizer", is perhaps the strongest song on the release. Over the space of six minutes, it goes from an inconspicuous beginnings into a cavalcade of power over its running time. It's a very powerful introduction to the robotic rock of Droids.

"Droids E.P" will be available as a free download until Monday. It will be officially launched on August 16th in Sandinos Bar, Derry. Support comes from Gascan Ruckus and The Wood Burning Savages.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Free Swim - She Dreams In Lights E.P

It's safe to say that any new material coming from the mind of Paul Coltofeanu, aka Free Swim, is something of a blessing. His last E.P release "Dennis" featured "The Smell of Pregnancy", a quirky, twinned-with-Bonkers track which is one of my top ten songs of 2012 so far. This week Free Swim released a new E.P, "She Dreams In Lights", which was inspired by "the dream-pop of Youth Lagoon, Washed Out & Mercury Rev."

The opening and closing tracks are perhaps the strongest songs musically on the record. Opener "Records in the Basement" is a rather enjoyable straightforward pop number with a bouncy rhythm, whilst the slow burning closer "The Snooze Function" is a cosmic love song worthy of a place on "Deserters Songs". However, it is on the songs in the middle of the E.P that the offbeat style of Free Swim really shines through. "Chumps Like Smee" seems like a sincere love song, but contains lines comparing the songs subject to amongst other things, house plants. "The Snooze Function" sounds as if the lead singers of Arctic Monkeys and Wild Beasts have been sent to the North Pole and made to write a song using a glacier for inspiration.

The highlight of the set is "Vuzuzela Venezuela", a jaunty tune that makes good use of Coltofeanu's unusual rhythmic rhyming structure, with offbeat lyrics ("the found the missing moon rocks with Leo Sayer's fortune teller"), great wordplay, and self-references aplenty ("they danced in adolescent glee to a brand new Free Swim E.P"). It's a great E.P from one of the most interesting, quirky songwriters around.

"She Dreams In Lights E.P" by Free Swim is available now as a free download.

Tuesday 24 July 2012

The Metaphorical Boat is 1 Year Old Today

Today marks the one year anniversary of The Metaphorical Boat first setting sail. How time flies.

When I first started the blog on Sunday 24th July 2011, my aim was to promote new music that I really enjoyed that I didn't think was getting enough attention. I was inspired to start it following trip I took to Nashville, Tennessee back in March last year.

During my stay, I went to a showcase gig in which 8 artists were performing for the opportunity to grab a slot on the Bonnaroo Festival. As the winner was to be decided based on audience votes, many of the acts put on extravagant performances that were largely style over substance. However, the final band that played on the night did not need any of that to grab my attention. Just really fantastic songs. They were Big Surr, and I fell in love with them almost instantly. Unfortunately they didn't win the competition in the end, but I was won over by their shoegaze sound, and even bought a copy of their cassette at the end of the evening.

The next day, I went onto the internet to see how much had been written about the group. I was disappointed to discover that there was next to nothing written about them on the internet. Annoyed, I told myself that I would start a blog that would highlight some of the best artists that deserved to be shouted from the rooftops. It took me a few months, but having moved back to Belfast from America, I set up The Metaphorical Boat, with my first post being about Big Surr. Since writing about the group they seemed to have slowed things down a bit, although just yesterday they put a new song on YouTube, "Cicada Summer", which gives me hope that they might break through just yet.

Since then, I've written about lots of fantastic artists, many of them from my own particular neck of the woods, and I really love hearing from new and emerging artists who make fantastic music. I've always said that if this blog begins to feel like a chore I would cease updating it immediately, but so far I've sincerely enjoyed running it. When I hear that someone has discovered their new favourite artist after TMB has posted about it, it makes this endeavor worthwhile.

Anyway, I think I've indulged myself a little too much already, so I'll just finish by saying that you to all of you who read this blog, and to all the musicians I've featured for making such wonderful music. If it wasn't for your wonderful songs, this blog would never have got past day 1. Thank you all.

Here's to many more years of music that floats my Metaphorical Boat.

The Bland Band - Brother

I first wrote about Swedish quartet The Bland Band back in January, after being rather enamored by their debut single "Palsboda Jam". Six months on, they have released a new five-track E.P featuring the aforementioned track and a rather great new song as well. "Brother" is a banjo-led folk tune that features some brilliant harmony vocals and some intricate banjo playing. It's feels a bit like Van Morrison meets Mumford & Sons, and is all the better for it. 

"Brother" is taken from The Bland Band's debut release "The Bland Band E.P", which is currently available to stream on Spotify. A commercial release is forthcoming. 

Monday 23 July 2012

Junior Prom - A Little Time

Brooklyn based duo Junior Prom make the sort of indie-dance music that made people get in a tizzy about Friendly Fires all those years ago. Their latest single release, "A Little Time", is an enjoyable number that utilizes horn samples to create a song that is both incredibly deep and remarkably fun at the same time.

"A Little Time" is available to download for free.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Glasgowbury 2012

So the Glasgowbury Festival is over for another year. Thousands of music fans, myself included, climbed up the side of a mountain for a wonderful celebration of the great local music on offer in Draperstown. With 50 bands playing over the course of the day from many different genres, there was something for everyone throughout the day. Here are my thoughts on the festival


It'll probably come as no surprise that my favourite performance of the evening came from The Wonder Villains. Despite some apparent technical difficulties during the set (during "TV", it seemed that Cheylene's keyboard was not turned on), they put on a wonderfully energetic set. They even debuted a new song, which is about Bruce Springsteen.

Ska-punk group Pocket Billiards put in a great performance on the Small But Massive Stage, which really got the crowd going. Eimear from the aforementioned Villains got on the already crowded stage to sing lead vocals on one song. 

Derry singer/songwriter Soak was one of the few artists who played twice during the festival, once before the festival officially began to pre-record a live set for BBC Radio Foyle, and once during her set on the G Spot Stage. Such was the anticipation for her performance that the tent was already crowded five minutes before she took to the stage. 

Elsewhere, folk group Sons of Caliber put on a reliably strong performance, the lullaby-folk of The Jeppetos was gorgeous, and Best Boy Grip were also enjoyable. 

Although it wasn't musical, seeing a festival goer dressed up as the titular character from Hayao Miyazaki's film My Neighbour Totoro brought a smile to my face. 


The great thing about the festival is coming across artists that you had never heard of and falling in love with them. Limerick band Fox Jaw Bounty Hunters really blew me away with their riff-heavy melodic rock. Think Queens of the Stone Age covered in daggers and it gives you an idea of their sound. It was a pity that you could count the amount of people in the tent by the end of their set on your digits.

Another band that impressed me were brassy septet Dead Presidents. They've got an upbeat sound that mixes funk, soul and jazz, with lead singer Matthew Wilson sounding like a young Van Morrison. The crowd loved their performance as well, with the crowd carrying Matthew at the end of their set. Also great was Wexford based Ian Doyle, aka The Man Whom, who performed solo with an acoustic guitar and a loop pedal to create live backing tracks on the fly.

Also, it was great to discover that a former classmate of mine is the new viola player for Rams' Pocket Radio, playing his debut gig for them during the festival.

Stuff I Missed.

Due to the nature of clashes of festival times and other factors, there were a few acts that I would have liked to see but missed out on, Including RunawayGo, The 1930s, Droids, The Japanese Popstars, and perhaps most annoyingly of all, the headliners Therapy?. If you managed to catch any of these artists on the day, feel free to let me know how awesome they were/weren't.


I didn't see a single piece of fruit for sale at the festival. Although there were three burger stands, two coffee places and an ice-cream truck.


SOAK playing just before the festival officially got underway. 

Tied to Machines 

The cutesy folk of The Jepettos 

Limerick's Fox Jaw Bounty Hunters, one of the surprise packages of the festival. 

The lovely ladies from The Wonder Villains 

Matthew Wilson of The Dead Presidents enjoying a surf. He lost his tie in the kerfuffle. 

Pocket Billiards with Eimear from The Wonder Villains

Acoustic loop madness from The Man Whom

So what did you make of Glasgowbury 2012? What were you favourite moments? Be sure to leave a comment. 

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Northern Ireland Tunes - Round-Up #4

Here is an assortment of great tunes from NI that are sure to float your Metaphorical Boat this July:

Ruairi & The Owls ft Rainy Boy Sleep - Let You Out

Limavady based group Ruairi & The Owls (formerly Owl Parliament) have enlisted the vocal talents of Steve Martin, aka Rainy Boy Sleep, for their latest single "Let You Out", which is taken from their upcoming 2nd E.P "Fishing In Your Dark." The song sounds as if it's a forgotten gem from the mid 90s, especially as the vocals sound as if they came from Noel Gallagher when he was in his prime. The track is currently available as a free download.
Ed Zealous - Diamonds for Eyes 

Belfast band Ed Zealous return after what seems like an age with their brand new track "Diamonds For Eyes". The track is a brilliant slice of electro-rock, which calls to mind some of the better work of Fenech-Soler, as well as  Two Door Cinema Club. They have also released a music video, which is a little bit of brilliance.

Elspeth - 24 Hour Paramedics

"24 Hour Paramedics" is the 2nd single to be taken from Elspeth's debut album "Coax". Like their last single, it calls to mind some of the grittier sounds of the Britpop era, although it also features a guitar riff which sounds like it belongs on Arctic Monkey's "Humbug" album.


 Soak - Numb

This Saturday the annual Glasgowbury music festival will be taking place in Draperstown, with over 50 acts from the island playing on six different stages. There's a lot of acts that I'm looking forward to seeing, including headlines Therapy?, the exuberant Pocket Billiards, and The Wonder Villains for the 5th time.

One of the acts that I'm most excited to see however is Derry lass Bridie Monds-Watson, who records under the moniker Soak. Just 16 years old, she has seemingly gone from obscure to hotly tipped overnight, even gaining UK-wide airplay of Radio 1. From the sounds of "Numb", taken from her "Trains" E.P, it is clear to see what the fuss is about, with Bridie sounding like she could be NI's answer to Laura Marling. If you want to catch her at Glasgowbury, she's playing on the G Spot (snigger) Stage at 2.30PM this Saturday.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Battleships - Your Words

With Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) having been a thing ever since the days of  "Selected Ambient Works", it was only a matter of time before some guitar band would take to labelling themselves as 'intelligent indie.' Flying the banner for this new wave is Sydney based quartet Battleships

Their 2nd single, "Your Words", is an interesting piece of post-Britpop inspired rock filtered through the lens of hindsight, and carries a chorus seemingly tailor made for stadium anthemics. I imagine that they are the sort of band that secretly keep copies of "A Rush of Blood To The Head" inside the CD case of their Shins albums.

"Your Words" is available to download now.  

Monday 16 July 2012

The Metaphorical Boat Album Briefs - July 2012

As we are now more than halfway through the year, The Metaphorical Boat has taken time to briefly check out some of the albums that are being touted as the best of 2012. The following five albums that we will look at currently have a combined average rating of 8.2 on Pitchfork.

Beach House - Bloom

(Bella Union)

The fourth album from Baltimore duo Beach House, "Bloom" would be the ideal soundtrack for floating on a cloud on a warm sunny day. Unfortunately, technology has not advanced to the stage where clouds can be used as a viable form of transport. And even if they were, you can bet that the City of London would slap a congestion charge on it. Opening track "Myth" is a charming piece of dream-pop, and if more bands released packaging as intricate as the Digipak for this album, then people wouldn't feel the need to pirate the album.

Released: May 2012

Highlights: "Myth", "Lazuli", "Wishes".


Best Coast - The Only Place


Let's start this with a frank admission. Until this year, I could not tell the difference between Beach House and Best Coast. Both bands have beach related names, both have the combination of female vocalist/male instrumentalist, and the albums that both artists released in 2010 both left me in a state on apathy. Now thankfully I have learned that both groups are quite different. I had a feeling that I would enjoy Best Coast's latest album, "The Only Place", especially following lead singer Beth Cosentino's star turn on The Go! Team's "Buy Nothing Day" last year.

It's a decent album, with the upbeat energy of the title track and the Mazzy Star-esque "No One Like You" being the highlights. However, there is the feeling that this album is lacking that special something to make it brilliant.

Released: May 2012

Highlights: "The Only Place", "Why I Cry", "No One Like You".


Grimes - Visions


And now every music blogger has mentioned Canadian artist Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, at least once. Go me. 

Regardless of what you have heard to the contrary, "Visions" is not a genre-defying album. It isn't a new goalpost in musical innovation. It is however an incredibly strong pop album, and if you enjoy it as such, then there is much to love here, from the Japanese sounding "Genesis", to "Be A Body", which is how Chris Martin might have written "Viva La Vida" if he were a 22-year old girl with easy access to modern sounding synthesizers. Just don't let the fact that she sounds suspiciously similar to one-hit wonder Aneka get in the way of your enjoyment.

Released: January 2012

Highlights: "Genesis", "Oblivion", "Be A Body"


Japandroids - Celebration Rock


Are you a fan of the music of rock legend Bruce Springsteen? If you answered "a few of his songs are alright, I suppose", then Canadian band Japandroids are the artist for you.

"Celebration Rock" is quite a brief album given that it's only 8 tracks long, although to the band's credit, all but one of the songs on the album clock in beyond the 4 minute mark. I'd like to think that it's due to the band having a 'no-filler' policy when it comes to selecting songs for inclusion, although given that one of the songs on the album is a Gun Club cover, it could imply a lack of faith in their own material.

However, "Celebration Rock" is an incredibly strong rock record, filled with lots of great hooks tailor-made for live gigs ("For the Love Of Ivy"), and what is destined to be the best rock song of the year, "The House that Heaven Built".

Released: May 2012

Highlights: "The House that Heaven Built", "Fire's Highway", "For the Love of Ivy."


The Men - Open Your Heart

(Sacred Bones)

The third album from the Brooklyn based punk quartet, The Men follow a 'does exactly what it says on the tin' philosophy when it comes to naming their tracks. "Animal" is a rough and primal track, "Oscillation" features a guitar pattern that is repeated ad finitum throughout, whilst "Country Song" is inspired by the genre of music so favoured in the American Midwest (although mercifully they've left it lyric-less, so we don't need to hear their tales of woe about a cowboy stealing their dog while burning down their trailer). The production is perhaps a too lo-fi in places, but it's a rather fun romp of an album nonetheless.

Released: March 2012

Highlights: "Open Your Heart", "Country Song", "Please Don't Go Away".

China Rats - Fly Solo

Leeds based quartet China Rats first came to my attention earlier this year with their fabulous song "To Be Like I", a song that effortlessly mixes Vaccines-esque indie-rock with 50s rock & roll. Since then, the band have gone from strength to strength, being picked up for rotation on BBC Radio 1 and even headlining a stage at the Benicassim Festival when Bat For Lashes had to pull out. Not bad for a band who've only released one E.P to date.

The band will be releasing their debut single in September, but before that they have made one of their tracks available as a free download. Featuring a trippy guitar riff and high energy throughout, it's a fantastic single from the lads. The band are setting themselves up as a real prospect for the future.

Saturday 14 July 2012

Cheerleaders - Puzzles

Do you like your guitar music loud, shouty, and a little bit rough around the edges? Then Leeds based trio Cheerleaders might be right up you metaphorical street. Their debut single release, "Puzzles", is a sub-2 minute cavalcade of noisy, lo-fi guitars, shouty, slogan filled vocals and youthful energy. The cite The Replacements, The National and Husker Du among their influences, although they sound more like The Klaxons stripped of their rave-y, sci-fi side. They are still a bit away from reaching their potential, but it's a promising debut single from the lads.

"Puzzles" is available now as a free download

Friday 13 July 2012

Fantasy Rainbow - O, Weirdo

It's been nearly a year since The Boat last checked in on Manchester based Oliver Catt's Fantasy Rainbow. Since then, he has been slowly picking up airplay across the board, released several sold-out singles, and has now signed to Heist or Hit Records (home of Simian Ghost and Skint & Demoralised). 

His first release on his new label will be the wonderfully titled "O, Weirdo", an infectious ode to that ever-present fear of being an outsider. With its soaring guitars and pseudo-slacker feel, it's got a hint of early Beck to it.

"O, Weirdo" will be released as a multicoloured 7" on August 20th. 

Fold - Mr President, We're In Trouble

If the critical success of Public Service Broadcasting releases are anything to go by, then it is clear in 2012 there is still a hunger for using spoken word samples as a launch point for musical ideas.

In addition to the aforementioned PSB, another artist using samples in this way is Leeds based group Fold. Fronted by producer Seth Mowshowitz, they take a more political approach to their work, using samples as a springboard to bring about social justice, although in a way that they claim is neither preachy, pretentious, or conceited." 

Their latest single, "Mr President, We're In Trouble", features vocal samples from former U.S President Jimmy Carter, which acts as a biting inditement of over-consumerism. Even if you're not overtly political, then there's still a lot to like in this song, with the hard hitting production reminiscent of a less-polished Lemon Jelly. 

"Mr President, We're In Trouble" will be released as a 7" single on September 3rd, with 75% of the proceeds going towards charitable causes.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Making Marks - Hard to Be Good

Formed from the ashes of My Little Pony, Norwegian four-piece Making Marks are the latest band to sign to indie-pop label Fika Recordings, a record label famed for providing tea and cake recipes with every vinyl release. To celebrate their new found partnership, the band have made one of their songs available as a free download. And what a joyous song it is.

"Hard to Be Good" is an upbeat, horn led song that call to mind the uncynical joy of Belle & Sebastian. This is unpretentious indie-pop that deserves to be savoured.

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Folks - Skull & Bones

Manchester based sextet Folks are making a bid for rock stardom. Having already had several dates supporting Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Miles Kane under their belts, the band are gearing up the release of their debut album.

The first single to be taken from the album is "Skull & Bones." The jaunty number has a similar feel to The Black Keys or QOTSA, but mixes it up a little by adding in some atmospheric string lines. The band have attempted to take on the difficult task of creating music that is both timeless, yet distinctive at the same time. And to an extent, the band have succeeded in their goal.

"Skull & Bones" is taken from Folks' debut album, "I See Cathedrals", which will be released on October 1st.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Good Friend - Dance On, Graves

A couple of weeks ago, I travelled over to Newcastle (England) for a few days to meet up with some family over there. Whilst there, I had hopes of soaking up the local music scene and hopefully catching a few of the great musicians from the city that I had featured on the blog over the past few months, which have included Little Comets and Athletes in Paris amongst others. Unfortunately, I chose the wrong time to go over, as I didn't get the chance to see any of the artists I had hoped to catch. Although I did go to a great open mic night at Bob Trollop's, even if it was a little overcrowded.

Hopefully the next I'm in Newcastle (England) I will get the chance to catch some of the artists I missed, and catch a few new bands as well, such as Good Friend. Originally based in Coleraine, the trio relocated to Newcastle following the dissolution of former band Under Stars & Gutters.

The lead track from their debut E.P, "Dance On, Graves", seems to make reference to the break-up of their old band, as Adam Carrol sings that "we'll dance on the graves of the corpses of the people that we used to be." It's a track that is both angry and melodic in equal measure, and is a great introduction to the in-your face punk-pop for a band making a fresh start on the other side of the Irish Sea.

Good Friend's debut E.P is out now.

Sunday 8 July 2012

The Alice Kona Band - Bad Dreams

 Heavy pop is the order of the day for Belfast based quartet The Alice Kona Band. Their latest single, "Bad Dreams", sees the group mix sunny, 60s inspired harmonies with ferociously distorted guitars that call to mind Pavement. I imagine it's how Teenage Fanclub would have sounded if they'd decided go go further down the heavy route after "Thirteen" instead of reverting to a more folksy sound.

"Bad Dreams" is available to download now.

Thursday 5 July 2012

Autosave - Failure

Every so often I get a email so bizarre from musicians that I feel the need to re-read it to make sure I haven't gone temporarily mad. Here is a correspondance I received from Chicago duo Autosave:
"The Face is a big fan of the blog. He would be thrilled if you gave us a listen. Keep up the good work!

Long ago we found The Face as it erupted out of the ocean. He told us of his message and gave us his image before slowly turning into dust and disappearing back into the ocean.

We are Autosave and we represent The Face. He is the reason why we exist. We're just 2 guys in an indie band from Chicago spreading his message.

You may try your very hardest and it still wouldn't be enough. The Face tried to live as a whole in this world. He vanquished himself in the data stream. He did it for all of us. 

Although he might have been a failure one way. He continues to make strides to get his messages to us (Autosave) and to the world. For now we shall use the sound clips he was able to recover as his voice. He will live again though. Listen to Autosave's latest message "Failure", off of our first EP "Nightmares and Landscapes".

He told us to tell you,
Hmm. It's all a little bit "Hero with 1000 Faces", isn't it?

But anyway, be sure to check out their latest single available for free, "Failure", which is decent in a 'Darwin Deez fed through a wormhole' kind of way.

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Eatenbybears - Simple As Hell

Belfast's premier shifty-pop band Eatenbybears have just unveiled their latest single, their first new material since the release of "Teeth E.P" back in October last year. "Simple As Hell" has been released to coincide with the start of the holiday season, and as such has a very summery vibe to it. Bongo percussion is prevalent throughout, with the main hook sounding as if it was recorded through a steel drum filter.

As the title might suggest, this is perhaps the poppiest song that Eatenbybears have recorded to date, although it does feature some of the band's familiar trademarks, such as its soaring guitar lines and abrupt changes in tempo.

"Simple As Hell" is out to download now, with the music video available to watch below:

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Crowns - Full Swing

One of the nerdiest musical things that I have done in recent weeks is to look at the running times of the various festivals happening over the summer to see which bands are getting top billing, which artists are much higher up the bill than they should be and which artists have been relegated from recent bills. Looking at the line-up for Reading Festival, it is interesting to see the Kaiser Chiefs, who were sub-headliners on two occasions, are the sub-sub headliners this year whilst The Hives, who played on the main stage before, now find themselves halfway up the bill on the secondary stage (and to add insult to injury, playing lower on the bill than The Blackout). And honestly, why are The Shins lower on the bill than Enter Shikari?

But my geekiness aside, the festival can give a great platform for emerging artists to shine among the more established artists. Take Cornwall band Crowns, who will be opening the Lock Up Stage of the festival on 26th August. The band, who have supported Sharks and The King Blues in recent months, ply their trade in shanty inspired folk-punk, which they have dubbed "fish-punk." Their style can be seen on their most recent single, "Full Swing", which sounds like a sea-weathered version of The Dropkick Murphys. Their music sounds like it will go down well in the festival atmosphere, and by next year, they could even be playing on the main stage.

"Full Swing" features on the "Crowns E.P", which is out now.

Monday 2 July 2012

Lushes - Harsh

There definitely are some interesting sounds coming out of New York based duo Lushes. Their Bachelorette produced song "Harsh" features a harmonic led hook and dreamy atmospherics throughout, which is quite ironic given its title.

The song will feature on their debut album, which is set for release by the end of the year. 

Howe - Bolt From the Blue

Whenever a band meets up after jamming together for some time, the prickly question as to what musical direction the band will take will rear its ugly head. If all the members of the band are on the same wavelength musically, or if one member of the band is much more musically inclined/egotistical than the rest, then there aren't usually that many problems. But what happens if one member of the group is enamored by atmospheric alt-rock, and another member is adamant that the group should take its musical lead from classic rock, and neither member will budge? What would happen then?

Well, it would appear that the answer to that question is that you could end up sounding like Brighton based 4-piece Howe. The verses of their song "Bolt From the Blue" utilize the hushed atmospherics of The xx to them (and even employ a similar chord progression to their song "VCR"), yet by the time the chorus kicks around, the guitars become more distorted, the drums become thundering, and the song becomes less xx, and a little bit Aerosmith instead. Despite the differing dynamics of introversion/extroversion on offer, it does work strangely well.

The track is taken from Howe's debut E.P, "Bolt from the Blue".