Ah, end of year lists; any music and procrastination addict worth their salt loves a good pencil-chewing, paper-wrinkling, my-taste's-better-than-yours-even-though-I-won't-say-it-out loud inducing end of year list! Here at The Sound Of Confusion we now have a five year acquaintance with this annual ritual to fall back on, but though the process may get more familiar, it certainly doesn't get any easier! Faced with three figures plus of quality recorded material to whittle down, the pruning of contenders can often begin in earnest as early as October, yet sure as night follows day, come 48 hours before the deadline we'll be surrounded by little piles of pulled-out clumps of hair and sobbing with exhaustion at the sight of fifty f&*~#!n names still on a page that should be half that size!!!
Strangely though, while omitting a faithful friend from back in January feels a far worse treachery than selling your first, second and third born children for some magic beans ("Just wait ‘til they grow love, then you’ll see!"), playing favourites at the top-end of the scale is habitually a far more straightforward task. That's because inevitably there's always one track that, no matter how many times it's returned to, has the ability to induce the exact same giddy thrill it triggered on that very first listen. For this correspondent in 2013, that song was 'Dive', and the band who created the moment of magic were Birmingham's rising sons Dumb...
Indeed, while on '..Love Toy' Dumb haven't gone as far as picking up the tale of how Noel's old mate Elsa broke from her over-the-counter medicine sniffing to go browsing in Ann Summers, there is undoubtedly an air of the '94 and '95 Oasis sound and "bring it on" attitude to be heard within the track; the chorus vocals are spat out, guitar riffs are ripe for communal sing-along sessions, while on occasion the melody even appears to pay a slight, and well deserved, doff of the cap to 'Some Might Say'. That's not to imply however, that this is some simple Britpop-by-numbers pastiche, and fans of grunge or college-rock acts such as Dinosaur Jr will surely be able to pick out their own points of influence in the growling basslines and soaring solos. Accompanying B-side 'Two Bottles' is yet to be made public in its finished form, however the demo version of the track that was shared by the band in the latter part of last year had more than enough promise to suggest it won't be left wanting as the second half of any single package.
Brimming with ambition, buzzing with cocksure confidence and seemingly with a knack of knocking out anthems at will, Dumb look to have all the tools to make it to the top - not only of this scribes list, but way way beyond.