In late 2003/early 2004 the NME busied itself for several weeks discussing in great depth its own Brit Pack. A, rather large actually, collection of rock groups from disparate parts of the kingdom with seemingly no tangible link other than broad location. Of these bands, a few actually made it someplace. Kasabian, Keane and The Ordinary Boys have all gone on to achieve notoriety...
Eastern Lane were one Brit Pack band who it never really happened for. I think I remember their initial blurb said something about them sounding like The Strokes mixed with the Pixies. That sounded brill to me and I duly checked them out. It was a pretty alluring and as it turns out, pretty accurate description to a 16 year old with few reference points.
Eastern Lane played rock music that made it feel like you were standing and leaning forward as far as is possible without falling over, just. They were fronted by this unholy voice, screaming and screeching, soulfully swearing and bringing so much to these, at times, irreverent lyrics.
Why Saffron wasn't a bigger hit I'll never know. It was released on Rough Trade post Strokes/Libertines so surely they knew how and who to market it to. The fantastically catchy guitar intro is there. The singalong lyrical hook is there "it's over now before its even begun/my heart yearns". There's a guitar solo and he wooos over it. What were the kids thinking?
I lied earlier about the Pixies drawing me in to Eastern Lane, it was after I heard Eastern Lane, rereading the NME description that I checked out the Pixies and yeah, good decision.
[Album: The Article Cycle]
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