Splashh: Comfort (Kanine Records, 2013)



Splashh suenan a onomatopeya acuática. A mí me suena a frescura. Y Comfort (Kanine, 2013), tiene ese punto de frescor. El combo británico-neozelandés se ha marcado uno de esos debuts reconfortantes e ingeniosamente creativos.
Partiendo de presupuestos simples, los chicos han construido un álbum que podría haber sido de notable muy alto si la distribución de las canciones hubiera sido algo más acertada. Porque Comfort comienza con tres temas absolutamente infartantes.splashh
Headspins es algo así como la reencarnación de los Pixies en brazos de Nirvana (eran una de las bandas favoritas de Kurdt Cobain).
La Psicodelia suave (dominante en todo eldisco) de All I wanna do (sencillo que Splashh ya había dado a conocer) nos deja extasiados con esa batería de guitarras bajadas de tono (huella MBV) y su impronta sonor deudora de gentes tan importantes como The Apples in Stereo o The Boo Radleys. Ese mismo tono aparecerá posteriormente también en Lemonade.
Y la fiesta continúa con el que a mi parecer es de los mejores temas del disco: Need it, un himno enérgico de lisergia acelerada y sintetizadores mágicos que bien podría haber sido tutelada por Creation Records.
“I need a long vacation, some place to clear my mind” es la frase más repetida de Vacation, otro de esos cortes absolutamente imprescindibles de este debut. Por cierto, me gustaría hacer reseñar que la banda se formó hace apenas un año, con lo que podemos estar seguros de su talento compositor.
Esa terna de composiciones hacen que Comfort se convierta, como dije, en uno de los debuts del año. Aunque todavía aparecen momentos memorables: Feels like you, la mencionada Lemonade, Wahed up, Strange fruit
La nueva onda Psicodélica surgida al amparo de bandas como Tame Impala, tiene en Comfort una vía de escape absolutamente irresistible. La puerta está abierta.
Por cierto, Splashh serán unos de los protagonistas de los escenarios del Fib, el 18 de Julio.


They’re somewhat mistakenly described as grunge revivalists in some quarters; granted,Comfort opener ‘Headspins’ owes a small debt of gratitude to Nirvana’s ‘Sliver’ in the same way Feeder’s ‘We Can’t Rewind’ does for example. But that’s precisely where any similarity ends. Sure, there’s little doubt a lot of Splashh’s influences come from what many perceive to be the halcyon era of independent guitar music: 1987-1992. But rather than simply ape the obvious, there’s a hell of a lot more thought gone into this record. So much more in fact. Listen again to ‘Headspins’ and there’s middle eights Britpop stalwarts Elastica and Sleeper would be proud of. Meanwhile debut single ‘All I Wanna Do’ – re-recorded here in a haze of widescreen echo-laden fury – recalls Creation Records at its (pardon the pun) most creative juncture. And by that we’re thinking The Boo Radleys Everything’s Alright Forever or Adorable’s Fade, possibly themost understated record to bear Alan McGee and co.’s names.
Take a trawl through Comfort’s ten songs and there’s a whole list of indiscriminate influences waiting to be pointed out. However, bearing in mind the members of Splashh are still only in their early twenties, such gesticulative like-for-like comparisons would not only be doing the band a disservice, but in many ways also an inaccurate source of reference. Take ‘Lemonade’ for example, a song which for all the life of it could fit like hand in glove onto The Wonder Stuff’s 1988 debut The Eight Legged Groove Machine. Nevertheless, even with a Black Country reared member of the band, it would be highly unlikely to imagine any of Splashh being aware of the ‘grebo’ or ‘fraggle’ subcultures, let alone its later London offspring ‘the Camden lurch’.
Instead, it would be more appropriate to focus on what Splashh bring to the table. And asComfort consistently demonstrates, they’re a sugary bundle of youthful exuberance wrapped in delicious halos of intoxicating reverb, ear-shredding fuzz and occasionally, pensive melancholia. Each song displays anthemic tendencies in its own right. ‘Green & Blue’ does trippy, kaleidoscope and downright infectious all in one four-and-a-half minutes sitting. Imagine what Pet Sounds would have sounded like had Brian Wilson discovered the art of de-tuning guitars through a multitude of effects pedals 20 years before Kevin Shields and there’s your answer. “Where have you gone?” asks Carlson over a woozy concoction of atmospheric guitars and riffs blended in shades of candy apple grey.
Elsewhere, former b-side ‘So Young’ bounces around with the enthusiasm of a five year old that’s discovered its first bouncy castle. “I don’t want to waste your time, ‘cos your time is so sublime”, declares Carlson. Likewise with its then-flipside ‘Need It’, again bathed in a pool of Lamacq-endorsed splatterpunk that wouldn’t have felt out of place in Deptford’s New Cross two decades ago.
Unsurprisingly, Splashh’s real dynamic lies within their live performances, so it is to the band’s credit that they’ve managed to capture all the energy and excitement of one of their shows into an aural adrenaline rush lasting little over 33 minutes. Indeed, there’s little filler here, which for a band that barely existed twelve months ago and has chosen to omit recent online giveaway and live favourite ‘Sun Kissed Bliss’ is a truly remarkable feat.
By the time reflective closer ‘Lost Your Cool’ brings Comfort to a close the only feasible option is to return to the beginning and repeat the listening process all over again. Now how records can you honestly say that about in recent years? Exactly. A hidden gem in a murky quagmire of landfill non-entities” (Drowned in Sound)

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