The IndebtorsThe Indebtors
Album: Don't Look Back
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 10

Did I miss something? Has the clock slipped back? Is it 1979 all over again? Ah no, it's just the new wave crashing again over the songwriting hopes and ambitions of a talented guitarist with personality in his voice. Richard Sutton is clearly well versed in the art of the three-minute pop song laden with street scene lyrics. Unafraid of a chorus that rings with major chord progressions and middle eights sparked by blue notes, there's a sharp instinct for a memorable tune at work here in tracks like the opener A New Day and the rabble rousing Nowhere To Hide.

If you can cast your mind back to a time when Joe Jackson was a believable pop star proposition and bands like The Starjets and The Chords were banging on the door of the charts, then The Indebtors will make perfect sense. All they lack is the right production. Don't get me wrong, this is all very clean and very neatly delivered, but the likes of Vic Smith, Nick Lowe and Vic Maile brought magic from the console by allowing the rough edges room to grate and be great.

Irene shows a lighter touch that's at odds with the rest of the album and the swoonsome Comeback, with its open strings and soft vocal stylings, suffers terribly under the weedy production.

However, there is far too much of genuine merit here for Don't Look Back to be the last we hear of The Indebtors. Not least the grasp of classic English songwriting - In the Pictures employs a vocal inflection Morrissey would have been proud of, while Dark Horse combines a growling vocal with a 13-era Blur bounce that's as influenced by Guided By Voices or Pavement as it is by Stiff Little Fingers or even the Pistols.

It all goes to show, there's always hope where there's a strong melody, a hook with teeth and vocal that means it.

Nick Churchill