After being approached to talk about Majority Vote’s debut EP Playtime’s Over, rather than dig out the review I wrote back in Spring, I though I’d revisit it and the band.
Since I first heard their EP, I have seen them perform a number of times in various venues and festivals and now, when I listen to their EP, I hear it in a totally different light. On the face of it, Majority Vote are a brilliant, young alternative rock band. Yes, they lean heavily towards second-wave grunge of the 90s and bands from the seventies such as The Runaways but the band is much more than this too. For instance, when they play acoustic shows, they pull out the ukulele and keyboards, swap vocalists and experiment heavily covering songs by artists such as Prince or Adam and the Ants. They become more of an anti-folk punk cabaret band bringing to mind acts such as Amanda Palmer or The Moldy Peaches. They are also much more socially active than many other bands; interacting constantly with followers and they definitely don’t care about being tied to a specific scene and are happy to play crossover events such as The Alternative Nite Out which provides a platform and exposure for arts and health groups. Most importantly they bring forth stripped down version of the songs on Playtime’s Over, no feedback, no distortion, just brilliant songs.
A new EP is already overdue and this one has only just recently landed. Current live favourite Grown Ups Never Own Up really needs to be put down on plastic but until then you have these four tracks on what is a very nearly-perfect EP. The opening title track’s riff might be a little like The Vines’ The Ride but vocally Hayley summons up the spirit of Riot-era Paramore and closing the track with hand-claps is definitely a nod towards MCR.
Visitors opens with a riff that’s very much in the same vein of Manic Street Preacher’s 1990 EP, New Art Riot (don’t believe me? Listen… although Manics were actually The Clash), and there is nothing wrong with that. Both Visitors and Sellout have the same raw energy and urgency of Foo Fighters and Jimmy Eat World; though luckily Sellout ends just before it starts sounding like Papa Roach’s Last Resort. So far though… so good.
And then we end with Clarity; the song that made me fall for Majority Vote. If I was in a band when I was 18, I’d have wanted to be in this band and I’d have wanted to write this song. Clarity is Majorty Vote at their darkest and most mature, but despite the change of mood there is an optimism that runs throughout this and everything else they do. Evoking early Silverchair, it’s their finest song …and when Hayley sings the words ‘I see clearly now, with clarity’ you know she really means it.
If you’re looking for blistering guitar solos, don’t bother looking here. If you want damn good honest song writing, then you’re in luck because the Majority Vote offer it up every time. Listen to them, book them, watch them.
Visit Majority Vote on their facebook page and their tumblr.