I cant take the heat! howls front-man Ryan McGlone, as the loose drums lead in People, Places, Maps first song Pyromaniac in their poignant performance at Box earlier this month. His strong Fife accent commands the first few minutes of the song, until the full six-piece band tear into an instrumental, announcing themselves as the future of Scottish music in spectacular style. Follow up song Veins continues their strident presence, with high-tempo drum rhythms accompanying McGlones brooding vocals. The lead singer still manages to find a way to be involved when PPM erupt into another instrumental near the end of the song, seizing a drumstick and savagely beating the crash cymbal. After some onstage banter, the slow guitar rhythm lures the audience into the Dunfermline bands most accomplished melody, Plans, a simplistic but empowering harmony destined for pristine production and musical recognition. The lead singer delivers his vocals with absolute conviction, and invites the audience to make some plans before the lead guitar takes them off on a mellow aural journey.
PPM try out a few newer songs to saturate the middle of their set, and despite some of these being very Twilight Sad-esque in sound, they fail to grasp the audiences attention. It is not until they perform brand new song Bury Your Head In The Sand, with its gradual build-up and emphatic chorus, that they regain the interest of the crowd. Follow-up Sarahs Song is not as potent without the missing female vocal, but still delivers a small dose of the potential of the song-writing of this group. In a unique style, they execute the conventional slow structure and melodic chorus of Hotel Room, with McGlones strained vocals serving to fill every possible second with his sincere lyrics. The fading outro is interrupted by the loudest applause of the night from the indebted audience. After finishing with Splinter, in which the singer repeatedly sings Goodnight!, People, Places, Maps leave the stage knowing that they have just demonstrated a small measure of their future potential.
Its evident that the band have only been together for a number of months. In between songs, they appeared disorganised and nervous, but once they are playing, its easy to assume they have been together for years. The drumming is particularly strong, and leads several of the songs with genuine ferociousness. The co-ordinated rhythm from three guitars would be expected to drown out the vocals; instead they emphasize them, allowing McGlone free-reign to be as emotive as possible. If People, Places, Maps were to be bracketed, they would be Idlewild, Frightened Rabbit, My Latest Novel and Twilight Sad all rolled into one big Scottish cake, with a bit of Interpol thrown in for good measure, but it would be stupid to do so, because their innovative melodies and sincere lyrics, combined with McGlones soft but broad Scottish accent is unlike anything heard before.
By Harris Brine
If you want a delicious sample of the future of Scottish music, download the six track album at http://peopleplacesmaps.bandcamp.com/
People Places Maps support Lost City Lights at the Classic Grand this coming Saturday 26th February, with tickets around Ł7.
Visit http://www.facebook.com/peopleplacesmaps?ref=ts for more details.
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