Personal Best kindly sent me their new track to listen to, digest and recreate in words for you lovely lot, and on listening to it, I recommend you follow these words; by listening to it too.
Formed in 2012, they originally comprised Katie Gatt on guitar and Lou Hanman on drums. There were a few changes but they have now reached their “classic” lineup with Katie Gatt still firing front with lead guitar/vox, El Morgan on rhythm guitar, Jason Cavalier on drums and Tom Baker on bass guitar with them sharing vocals where it calls for it. They already have one album under their belt, Arnos Vale, released in 2015 on Specialist Subject Records. New single Rollies is out now available on Too Pure singles club or to download from Personal Best Bandcamp – personalbest.bandcamp.com, for those of you a little more old school there are hard copies which can be picked up from Pie and Vinyl. They describe their music as “super poppy, melodic songs mostly about love or a lack thereof”. Go on, fill your boots.
Recorded at Southsea Sound, it seems their music has grown since Arnos Vale into something cleaner and more decisive. Katie’s voice dominates the opening of Rollies with poise, with her feisty and independent vocals popping with a speckling of Alanis Morrisette. After the first few bars there is a change in dynamic and the music kicks in, taking the sound into an early 90s alt indie strong house built from elements that ache of internal conflict. The bright but distorted guitar takes its place like that of Smashing Pumpkins, Bush and all that gloriously twisted sunshine riddled angsty noise that teenagers played whilst dreaming of their first kiss, laid together in a field, surrounded by grass, away from the rest of the world. It’s all there.
And dream like it is. The vocals cut off relatively quickly, about a third of the way through the track, leaving it to build and break through into its musical centre.
A drunk, happy sway that evokes a lifetime of memory in the listener. If not, I must ask, what have you been you doing? It makes me wish we were moving into spring already. It makes me impatient. The wholesome, innocence of the choral singing has me closing my eyes and imagining the breeze blowing through the window on a sunny day in Southsea, the white net curtains breathing in and out and all the possibility that lies at the start of these sorts of mornings.
If you want to hear more from the band then they’re playing a flurry of gigs over the UK and Europe between 21st February and 11th March. The closest to our Portsmouth hub would be The Haunt in Brighton on Sat 4th March or Village Underground in London on Mon 6th March. Although a little birdy tells me they’re playing Portsmouth in April so keep your ears to the ground and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch them live here too. Give them some love. Personal Best!