Press Room - Kirsty Cessford
The Way are an indie rock and roll band from Stoke-on-Trent, together since late-2008. Since then, they have progressed massively and play regular gigs up and down the country with an ever-expanding fanbase to be proud of. Their debut album “Bop, Stroll and Rock & Roll” (released in September 2010) has been a great success locally and is definitely a worthwhile investment for indie-rock fans everywhere.
Strong, exciting riffs are evident throughout and – from the first Cure-like seconds of opening track “Boy Before Your Time” – we are launched headlong into a collection of songs which narrate the life of four lads living typically laddish lives full of girls, money, mates, work and more girls! However, The Way aren’t just another indie band and whilst they may not be starting a musical revolution, their music has a spark that really makes them stand out. Coming from Stoke myself, I’ve had the opportunity to experience many of their live shows and I’m certain that they’re a band to watch out for.
Stefan Smith’s vocals develop an easy familiarity as you work your way through an album with the lyrical wit of Twisted Wheel, yet softer melodies similar to bands such as The Iron Door Club. “Charlotte’s Web” is augmented by blasting brass instruments which creates a much fuller sound than most indie fare and owes a debt to bands like The Ordinary Boys.
Infectious choruses crop up time and time again – especially on “One Time around”, with its happy, summertime, feel-good sound and bold lyrics (“You shelf stacker, you pint puller, your feet lack miles, your cheeks lack colour”) which remain lodged in your mind and leave a lasting impression.
A prominent track likely to get everybody moving is the unforgettable “Katwalk Krazy”. Lyrics are learnt within the first few listens and every time it pops on your iPod on shuffle, you have the urge to get up and dance. Another guaranteed mover is “River Island Skirts”. Its incredibly fast pace is particularly impressive as it shows that The Way have successfully managed to capture their live bubbling energy when they entered the recording studio – a feat which is sadly beyond far too many bands.
The band clearly have a wide range of influences with “Yesterday’s News” being heavily reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys, “Micky’s Son” and “Darlin’” sounding similar to Little Man Tate, and snippets of music from numerous tracks reminding us of The Holloways. Whilst clearly influenced by all of these bands and more, they have managed to develop their own, unique sound and deliver one of Britain’s most promising recent debuts.