Keith Red Thread

Britain is a breeding ground filled with bands looking to survive solely on borrowing. It’s often these bands that succeed at first evaporate when it comes time for that big second album (we’ll see, Kaiser Chiefs, we’ll see). While they haven’t exactly reinvented the wheel with their debut Red Thread, Manchester’s Keith are at least pushing simple guitar music forward with ideas that certainly raise the value of their stock. What could have easily been another post-Britpop trudge had they purely relied on their guitars, Keith’s ambition to be above average has elevated them to a bona fide, endowed young band. When they do use the guitar as their major motivation, as on "Leave It Now, For Now,” they almost sound pedestrian, which is why a song like "The Miller” is crucial to their songwriting. Like an outtake from the Eno/Byrne sessions, the song is lifted by an unorthodox (for them) drum pattern that acts as though it accidentally made its way onto the album. Such an inconsistency could sink an album, but the heavenly enchantment of "Gunshot Revelry” and the blazing beat of "Mona Lisa’s Child” help balance Red Thread’s weight as both an affable pop record and something much more. They have the variety and songwriting skills down, but Red Thread feels like only the tip of the iceberg, and if this band can survive the second record, look out. (Lit Fuse)