The Rival

Photo: David O’Donohue

Made from the sounds of yesteryear, but actually it was only last year in which we took an invested liking to the retro synth seared album “The Desired Effect”. The cut which spurred me on to the heights of becoming a fully-fledged Brandon Flowers fan.

It was an album which had it all to our minds, mega statement pop moments, steely lyricism, Brandon’s dynamically commanding vocal, all encased in an 80’s new-wave achieved wrapping.

Nothing of new music out there has so much as held a torch to it, in placing itself as a challenger since, to which I have been alerted too anyways.

This was, until I discovered “Waves” the new EP from Nashville duo The Rival nestled in my inbox this week. It wasn’t so long after first hitting play that the distinct similarities betwixt the two became wholly apparent and fell into place either!, owing to a combination of throbbing melody coming to light made up of a flourish of cinematic synth strains merging alongside the plucky texture of strutting indie-pop proud guitars.

It is beyond the point of obvious where The Rival seek out influence in here, clearly getting their kicks out of The Killers strident signature sound, right down to presenting a Flowers matched in likeness, debonair carried vocal.

As it stands, today’s pop landscape remains largely dotted to maximum effect with dance concerted offerings, to find there are acts out there who embrace something a little more niche, is increasingly becoming less and less a commonplace circumstance.

Two previous long player efforts down, The Rival have found comfort in their zone to bash out impression making hunks of edgy embellished electronic pop, of the likes which provide ear candy for a largely un-catered for market. Namely, us kidadults who did our growing up in the 80’s!

Putting our focus on lead single “When I’m With You”, there is every good reason to get swept up in the reminisce of nostalgia here. What is more, there IS more! Two further EP’s – “Sands” and “Peaks” will partner up alongside the release of “Waves” to form a trilogy.

That’s a three-fold opportunity for us kids brought up on a diet of 80’s electronic pop to revel ourselves indulgently in our retrospective past.

Hit that play! Let’s get to it, kindred spirits!