Playwrights, The
Playwrights, The
Label: Sink And Stove Records
Genre: Rock
Online: Artist Website


The Playwrights are a majestic and angular indie rock band from Bristol, England, with a strong pop edge. "Guy Debord Is Really Dead" is the newest Playwrights material released on Sink and Stove, highlighting an impressive new band at work, moving on from the previous material recorded only as a duo. The lead track and accompanying b-sides "Bridge Burning Cooperative" and "Knock Yourself Out" showcase the band’s classy combination of guitar interplay, busy but funky basslines and solid but expressive drumming; recorded live before the addition of Aaron’s refreshingly English vocals and The Playwrights now trademark splashes of cornet, glockenspiel and dubby melodica.

The political and literary references in Guy Debord Is Really Dead do not distract from the fact that it is a damn fine pop tune. Situationist slogans aside the song reads like a love letter: a plea to an unrequited love, a family member, a community, a government; to wake-up, to tell the truth. The song gives a taste of the band’s forthcoming mini-album English Self Storage and full-length When I Lived In The Modern World.

Frequently lumped in with the current resurgence of new wave post-punk styled bands, The Playwrights palette is broader: echoes of Burt Bacharach and Michael Nyman are equally at home in their music as those of Gang of Four and Joy Division. Influences range far and wide; from English acts like The Cure, XTC, The Auteurs, Nick Drake and The Smiths to American bands such as Fugazi, The Sea and Cake, Tortoise, Les Savy Fav, and Pavement. The Playwrights have shared stages with Mission of Burma, 90 Day Men, Weird War, Herman Dune and James Yorkston as well as Sink and Stove labelmates Gravenhurst and Chikinki. August 2004 sees the band on tour with Pretty Girls Make Graves and Seachange.

The Playwrights are an urgently needed proposition for indie rock. They take their tales of everyday life and turn them into angry and arty but accessible and hope-filled anthems, bristling with intelligence, hooks and a willingness to experiment.