Needmore are one of the most exciting new faces on the American college pop-rock circuit right now. Already asked to perform on the prestigious Jimmy Kimmel Live in the USA, and propelled by the anthemic single Lost My Way (watch the video below) their newest mini-album, Back At The Start is a cool collection of radio-ready rock songs, precision-engineered to achieve maximum impact for those times when you just fancy whistling a song as you walk down the street, sing in the shower, or pretend to be a rock star with your hair-brush in front of the mirror (you do that too, right? RIGHT?).
This is a band, as the people in the know say, who have traction. Radio success on multiple continents, exposure on MTV, and a slew of highly successful college tours are already under their belts. A rise to the big leagues seems assured on the basis of their hard work-ethic and sensible business plan alone, but what of the songs?
Well on this seven track EP (which is really only six, as the first track acts as an intro), we are met with, primarily, BIG STUFF. Everything is huge, from the drum sounds, which are the most immediately apparent aspect of the band's sound, to the widescreen and full-on vocal placing at play on the title track, as it flows in to a Coldplay-esque fusion of piano and emotive single note guitar riffs, leading to a plethora of "woah, oh, ohhhs" and a bull-horn of a chorus, you know where you are and why this works. Everything here is just right. These guys can write, play, and they have something to say. In lead vocalist Garrett McArthur, they possess a weapon, able to sound sugary-sweet one moment, and to caterwaul like the best of them the next. Add some cinematic strings towards the end of the track, and really. everything a band needs to try and out Chris Martin Chris Martin barring an annoying falsetto is present and correct.
Next we have the afore-mentioned Lost My Way, which is a great song. Period. This one comes off a little more in the Lifehouse direction for me, but again, features some good invention in the instrumentation, a great vocal performance, and is just dying to be played on the radio.
The final main track on the EP is Too Late, which builds from a piano-led intro in to an epic close. Once again, this is perfect for radio.
Following these, acoustic versions of the three previous songs round out the EP and show that good songs, done in any style, remain good songs. I would have preferred a couple more songs performed in Needmore's signature style, but I guess they must be saving those for an album or some such. A band marketed this well always has a plan :-)
If you love pop-rock which is on the softer end of things, but which is all about the songs, this record is for you. I would be shocked if Needmore do not continue their apparently meteoric rise to greater things, so get in early and enjoy them from the start.