Words: ROBIN MUMFORD
Lifting up the album with a grit that can only really ever be associated with the north east, before keeping it up in the balance with highly relatable stories and addictive tales and driving the album home with articulate guitar riffs, Cellos’ latest album ‘Been Here Before’ is exactly the sort of creation that is bound to go down well with listeners who favour the more complex of songs that capture the imagination of the lives of those in Britain.
In many ways, ‘Been Here Before’ is an album that takes you on a magical mystery tour through the many dimensions of indie music, homing in on the personal experiences of the very people that produced and recorded it. From the propelling guitar work in ‘Insomniac’ to the nostalgic ‘Out Of Luck’ and the progressive ‘The River’, listeners will become preoccupied by the way Cellos formulate a record that is so evidently personal to them.
There are undercurrents of Arctic Monkeys throughout - most notably through the unrelenting manoeuvres of ‘Pinnacle Part 2’ - along with dashes of Britpop and other early 2000’s bands. For a band that comes straight from the shadows of County Durham, it is hardly a surprise to hear the stout-hearted spirit of the northern lads make a profound appearance in these 10 gritty songs.
But ultimately, it is that soul and spirit that is quite clearly embedded into each track that brings out the best in Cellos. While they already had the foundations of a successful band - playing the guitar well, composing music easily, and tying it altogether with bona fide lyricism and vocals - their passion and life stories partner their talents to deliver an all-encompassing EP that takes you on a trip through the band’s hometown.
And although their music is very heavily linked to that of bands from the old, they bring their own unique flavours to the scene to keep past eras alive and well. Stories told in ‘Roman Numerals’ and ‘Been Here Before’ exacerbate just that. The band also play around with different tempos and rhythms throughout - this makes sure their stories, although similar in some cases, are kept fresh by how they are portrayed.
Overall, Cellos’ latest album release is a fast-track pass to gritty northern rock music with tinges of up-to-date sounds that enrapture listeners into a journey through the adolescence of four talented musicians. Using their own personal experiences as a primary material, they successfully unite 10 songs that are highly listenable and relatable.