St Albans based band The Pocket Gods have become something of a cult figure within the music industry in the past couple of decades. From being discovered by the late great John Peel, to recently being supported by Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson and Steve Lamaq on 6 Music, they’ve also – rather bizarrely – added a Guinness World Record to the list of accolades. I’ll get to that later.
That said, the band haven’t had it easy getting to where they are. If you think your band is having an unlucky time of it, you’re about to get a bit of perspective. After being discovered by John Peel, it was only a couple of weeks before the legendary curator passed away. Then, it was the turn of Tony Wilson to stumble across the St Albans band. Then he died shortly after. It wasn’t until Steve Blacknell showed an interest and suffered a major asthma attack, that the band thought maybe there was a bit of a curse going on.
Other than the spooky nature of the aforementioned. The Pocket Gods are also known throughout the industry for their place in the Guinness World Records for having the most tracks on a digital album (100) last year. The album features only 30 second songs, a protest against Spotify’s rule of only paying out for streams over 30 seconds. They shared a place in the book with David Bowie, Ringo Starr and Justin Bieber (who previously owned the record) and have spoke about the protest in Billboard, The Telegraph and on London Live.
The band state that they want the new album to define their sound, and cement their work as something other than a record breaking band. The Jesus and the Mary Chain follows bassist Mark Lee’s time touring with the legendary Creation Records band of the same name. The first single, ‘Another Sunny Day’, is a feel-good piece of vintage indie-pop. Hazy vocals and a lazy groove make for perfect summer’s evening listening. The rest of the album touches on psychedelic, electronic and just pure creative expression. Tracks such as ‘Ketchup Met Fritten’ explore the bands more experimental side – a manifestation of the group’s Pink Floyd appreciation – whilst the start of the album is undoubtedly more accessible. All in all, The Jesus and the Mary Chain is an intriguing, ethereal and expressive piece of classic rock/indie pop fusion, that touches on a plateau of influences and a clear passion for guitar music.