Pesky! - Smells Like Tween Spirit
The obvious talking point is their age, for Pesky! are but callow youth, with nary a proper teenager among their ranks. The product of an after-school music group in the Cumbrian town of Ulverston (pop. 11,768), not for them the massed ranks of St Winifred's Choir; instead the seven piece troupe have taken up their guitars and keyboards and formed - get this - a shoegaze band that, far from being a toe-curling exercise in end-of-term prodigiousness, is actually one of 2015's most exciting exercises.
What shines through is music unencumbered by history or notions of cool. Instead, Pesky! are driven by a sense of instinct, by fun and, above all, a youthful sense of adventure that leaves acts ten years their senior looking clueless. Effortless lead track 'Keep Me' is a Boo Radleys-esque summer pop anthem with a hint of Sigur Rós. The driving 'Heartbeat' ("Every little comment that you made to me...") is a strident slice of school locker room angst, while the dreamy 'Lightning' is the closest they get to Lush or other scene stalwarts. It would be easy to pat them on the head with a 'well done' but over its six tracks Smells Like Tween Spirit challenges preconceptions about age and who is 'allowed' to make music. "We could make memories," they say and, if nothing else, these seven young people will never forget the summer they came together and made a truly great pop record. Gold stars all round.