Vocally The Guild League sounds like the Lucksmiths for the obvious reason that Tali White sings with both bands. Mouse vs Mountain bursts out the traps with parping brass and shaking percussion, occupying a middle ground somewhere between the Housemartins and Dexys Midnight Runners. If Not Now… goes along with its title, an urgent pop tune, proving the band to be feistier than Tali’s other band. There are lots of chirpy backing vocals and riotous fun. Dead Hour turns things round a bit, being pretty downbeat but somehow uplifting. After another rousing tune in Suit Fits we come to The Idea, a maudlin and beautiful little thing, bringing to mind tea on the lawn while a sinister figure spies from the bushes. Where’s The Colour? has a ska feel and a reggae beat to it, which suits what is essentially an indie groove, and a kick ass white soul chorus. Brains is another song wonderfully indebted to the white soul of the early eighties, powerful brass driving the song, stabbing rhythms hitting the point home. Limited Express is a softly sung slowie, minimal backing sawing slowly away. It’s a gorgeous little thing, a little like Beautiful South without the irony. To wrap things up 17 Summer is a grinding, twisting beast and Incandescent is an evangelical but blissful thing with female vocal accompaniment.
Speak Up is out now on Matinee Recordings
The Guild League myspace is here