Having played with The Maccabees, Jack Penate, The Wombats and Babyshambles to name but a few, SixNationState decided it was high time that the world should have their eponymous debut album. With a twist.
This 12 track album includes an accompanying 12 videos all pretty much made by their own fair hands. The Southampton quintet have created a visual and audio treat that is sure to make them a permanent feature on both our music channels and radio stations this summer. Music videos have become a massively lucrative business since MTV’s launch in 1981 and unbeknown to many oblivious fans, bands have to contribute (if not pay for all of it) to the cost of them. SixNationState have decided to not bother wasting their time with the fruitless marketing ploy known as the single release and spend all of their budget on producing a decent sounding album with a multitude of interesting and creative videos.
Obvious contemporary comparisons are The Coral and The Zutons with lead singer Gerry Del-Guercio sounding much like Guy Garvey (Elbow) on their more tender tracks and with hints of ska, reggae, indie and rock, it’s a veritable feast. ‘Everybody Wants To Be My Friend’ has raw and angry lyrics, which works well with their contrasting reggae vibe whilst ‘We Could Be Happy’ is a welcome light relief, though still upbeat and catchy. The theme of the album seems to be urgency. A bunch of young guys urgent to write a mirthful and captivating set of songs who rarely give themselves more than three minutes to take a breather.
Visually it’s clear they’re working with an independent label (Jeepster, who have Belle & Sebastian and Snow Patrol), it’s all very twee and eclectic. You can tell the band had fun playing with styles that they as youngsters are attracted to. There’s a black and white silent movie, huge bunnies, dead bodies, zombies and sexual deviancy, something for everyone.
What they’ve done is clever and to be honest, fairly basic. With so many bands and record labels trying to come up with the newest and best way to market and profit form the ever increasing internet dominated industry this is something tangible the customer can take home and enjoy straight away. SixNationState took £200 (and called in a lot of favours!) and have managed to successfully offer the whole package to the consumer and not at a rip off price.
If you don’t like the music you’ll like the videos and if you don’t like the videos you’ll like the music.