The 10:04s have toured extensively up and down the UK, playing with various bands from Idlewild to The Proclaimers, The Cribs to The 1975 and with the Pet Shop Boys on the main stage at Edinburgh Hogmanay’s ‘Gig In The Gardens’. The band’s new AA single, ‘Everything Is Going To Be Alright / ‘North’, is created by a version of themselves that sounds both increasingly world-weary and stunningly refreshed. The 10:04s, who can be described as the usual independent underdogs, may well end up with a strong candidate for the most ambitious alternative rock track of the year. ‘Everything Is Going To Be Alright’, is a really big track in terms of epic sound and massive vocals.
Imagine a rocking Nick Cave or Dave Gahan in front of a bone crushing rhythm section, with wildly banging drums and abrasive, over-driven electric guitars, in a majestically orchestrated arrangement.
‘Everything Is Going To Be Alright’ is a recording with the rough edges removed; the polished work of pros who have gotten incredibly good at what they do. The track’s emotional core comes screaming out from its dark place, as the lead vocals rise powerfully above the turbulent soundscape in which it’s set.
The driving rhythm and those sky-searching vocals lines keep the head up, rather than staring down towards the dark and tormented lyrics with pessimism. With ease, The 10:04s play to its strengths with this dramatic narrative and scorching beat.
Dark and neurotic this track bursts with unbridled energy, but careful, patient listening offers copious rewards, especially lyrically, as The 10:04s are never banal or shallow in their narratives. Ineffable transcendence aside, The 10:04s also succeed on the merits of simply being an excellent rock band.
Bold and brash, ‘Everything Is Going To Be Alright’ is subtly insinuating; at first it seems almost free of hooks, then three listens later it’s difficult to get it unstuck. It burrows and then resides, first easy to take in then totally impossible to let go.
“North”, on the other hand, is an almost-traditional-sounding piano-driven ballad that serves as the band’s best showcase for the lead vocals: Like the music that weaves around it, the voice is singularly beautiful, resonating, and more diverse than it’s probably given credit for.
What this track really reveals though, is that The 10:04s are able to write songs which are scalable: built around small, personal sentiments and eloquent musical passages that, when unfolded musically and emotionally, strike a mighty chord with listeners. It also shows how much The 10:04s songs can hinge on the atmosphere created by the lyrics and the vocals.
The subtle, spacious production is immaculate, allowing for an intimate blend of sounds that also feel grand and expansive. Instrumentally, The 10:04s do everything necessary to craft the aesthetic they’re aiming for on “North”, and achieve it with such precision and consistency that it implies genius.
Ultimately, The 10:04s musical world is one rife with unique insights and dark, detailed songwriting able to emotionally connect and inspirit. It is this embrace of emotion, in all its complexities, that makes The 10:04s the band that it is.