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The Tonics - Memories Won't Drown (self-released)

7 March 2024

I have to say that I am a real sucker for that blend of almost whistful-sounding female pop vocal dancing over a more robust and raw rock ‘n’ roll soundscape. It’s the same balance that made some key bands of my formative days, Transvision Vamp, The Primitives and even The Darling Buds so much fun. Although I’m old, so if those references go over the heads of younger readers, perhaps think Black Honey or the band of the moment, Wolf Alice.

It is this meeting of worlds, these rather attractive opposites, that enables The Tonics to revel in both the easy infectiousness and lighter accessibility that make pop music so potent and the weightier sound and more integrity-driven rock vibe.

“Memories Won’t Drown” is one of those songs that, in the hands of a pure rock band, would sound forced, and in the hands of, say, an emo band, would sound sappy and too sentimental, but put it in this context, music made at the pop-rock intersection, it is the perfect sonic material from which such a band can cut their musical cloth.

And cut i they do, into a well-tailored seven inch suit. Some say that where pop and rock meet, indie music is born. But indie, for me at least, seems such a loaded term, conjuring images of people in designer street fashion sporting complicated hairstyles and looking down their noses at the rest of us. You can term this indie music if you like, but I think that it is better than that—much better.