REVIEW: CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe

chvrches-the-bones-of-what-you-believeAh, CHVRCHES. We admit we’ve been very apprehensive of the Glaswegian trio since they’ve emerged – while we hate to be contrary without reason, they feel more like a band everyone’s been insisting you should like, rather than one you like of your own accord. We’ve read enough sentences involving CHVRCHES and the words 80s or Blondie, and more than enough sound of 2013 polls, so admittedly we fired up The Bones of What You Believe with a little bit of trepidation.

It’s an easy sound to acclimatise to. Singles Recover, The Mother We Share, and Gun pass by without incident and fanfare, which is actually a huge compliment – in a saturated electro-pop soundscape, it’s an impressive achievement to make consistently strong tracks. Comparisons the Knife, while not entirely unfounded, don’t hold weight overall – what CHVRCHES produce is much more accessible and immediate.

More importantly, there’s fire in droves. Lauren Mayberry’s tenacious delivery throughout the LP, especially on songs such as Night Sky or the yearning Tether, is rallying. And just when you think you’ve got the CHVRCHES sound sussed, out comes the Martin Doherty-led Under the Tide which, in the most primitive terms, is basically an unreleased Robyn hit as sung by a bloke. If any of these are the band’s next single, they’ll be laughing.

Like the other outstanding debut of the year, there’s a refreshingly dark undercurrent in CHVRCHES – take Science/Visions or creepy layered vocal of Lungs – that offsets the relentless hooks. The Bones of What You Believe is so polished and infectious, so impossible to dislike, that we have no choice but to relent. CHVRCHES: we kneel at your altar. This is pretty damn awesome.