Gradually coming together through friends of friends, Birmingham’s Superfood went through a slow gestation. After seeing mates such as Peace and Swim Deep emerge from a healthy Midlands indie scene, they soon thought that they too could easily do this. Thus debut album Don’t Say That sports tracks that would mostly be created at home, often with hip-hop drum beat loops gluing songs together.
Britpop may be an unwanted and annoying tag for the quartet but it’s hard to argue that Superfood are undoubtedly indebted to this field. Another label thrown at the band has been ‘slacker-pop’, whatever that actually is, but this description they feel is more suitable to their twanging lo-fi guitar based sound that saw songs written quickly in a bedroom environment over the course of about eight months. Whichever pigeonhole fits, there’s no avoiding the similarities to Blur.
Single TV is a prime example of their debt to Damon Albarn et al, a mish mash of chaos that could easily have been penned by the Britpoppers, as is the first song they wrote, their signature tune Superfood where the chorus recalls a handful of Blur efforts with the added ‘Superfood’ chants sounding a little like The Rolling Stones’ woo-woos from Sympathy For The Devil. It’s Good To See You melds Oasis-like verses with another Blur-like chorus whilst Melting is a stranger, evolving beast again unavoidably reminiscent of the latter band. In fact, it should probably have been named Melting Pot, seeing a detour through an angular guitar passage and then a quieter, minimal section that leads to some floaty ‘60s psychedelics, all following an unexpected nod towards Electric Light Orchestra’s Mr Blue Sky.
There are plenty of other ‘90s moments too: Pallasades is an enjoyable, funky jaunt that sounds a bit like Supergrass jamming with Mansun as does Like A Daisy via its spidery, catchy guitar line and fuzzy guitar wall whilst You Can Believe sounds uncannily similar to Black Grape’s In The Name Of The Father.
The record’s best moments arrive when it’s more difficult to pin down a specific influence. The excellent Mood Bomb skips along to a prominent bass line and tambourine before a highly contagious chorus takes shape. Another single – Right On Satellite – is another slice of infectious, racy pop apparently about momentum, with more powerful bass and a catchy guitar riff that sounds a little like a ramped up, psychedelic Temples hook.
About to embark on tour with Honeyblood after being handpicked for the honour, Superfood are likely to see a sudden, sharp rise in their profile and, on the evidence of this laudable debut offering, the gathering audiences are in for a treat. Whilst their influences or similarities to other bands from the ‘90s cannot be denied, there’s something happening that lifts them above other ‘same-period’ revivalists. Exactly what that is isn’t easy to pinpoint but for anyone that even slightly misses the decade that saw Britpop bands pop up left, right and centre you could do a lot worse for your health than take in some Superfood.