Itâ€™s a bit of a task setting out your agenda in only eight songs yet thatâ€™s what Hertfordshireâ€™s Neils Children (now residents of East London) manage to do on their mini-album â€˜Change/Return/Successâ€™ with great aplomb.
Youâ€™re wrong footed from the start when a Floyd-ian intro on opener and first single â€˜Come Downâ€™ builds a tense sonic-panorama before exploding into the song proper. And thatâ€™s kinda what Neils Children are about. At first glance theyâ€™re a Sex Pistolâ€™s pastiche with Clockwork Orange overtones. Yet it doesnâ€™t take long to realise thereâ€™s much more going on here. Not only does there seem to be a lurking tongue-in-cheek menace to their lyrics but thereâ€™s also a lot of clever and subtle use of guitars and guitar effects, all coupled with the tribal pounding of a snareless drumkit a la Adam and the Ants.
This is a brilliant debut album, with the only criticism being that itâ€™s far too short. Itâ€™s a fantastic mix of early The Cure, visceral British punk and psychedelia, with a raw and unmatched passion that many â€œsaviours of British musicâ€ sadly lack to match even a smidgeon of. Letâ€™s hope that there are several more siblings to come.