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Review: Speedboat – Split the Bill

It seems that making music with your siblings is having a moment and this time it takes the form of Will and Johnny Griffiths, aka Speedboat. Today marks the release of their debut EP ‘Split The Bill’ on 0800-MOSHI-MOSHI.

The pair first started writing together back in 2017 but it was only when pandemic logistics led them temporarily back to their childhood dwelling that things really came to fruition. The winning combo was to set up a home studio called ‘Camel Crème Studios’ and revisit the parental record collection, “Our mum brought us up on a lot of classic rock and blues, while we loved the film School of Rock as kids” the pair say. “We’d always reject our Dad’s musical tastes – which was mainly 80s pop, indie and new wave – but it was this music that ultimately came to inspire us most when starting to write for Speedboat.”

The result is a delight of an EP, bursting out of its polyester-seams with synth-pop and eighties nostalgia. There’s an apparent sense of excitement to be doing this together, and like a pair of restless legs, there’s a desire to move, shake and shift in a hundred different directions all within the same EP. ‘Madeira Nights’ lies somewhere between psycho-billy and new wave, the rhythmic bass luring in the listener only to be taken on a different trajectory three minutes later and flung into a pop bonanza to rival John Maus.

Although the prevalent theme is fictional romance, ‘bigboy 123’ recounts the tale of a camera shop clerk who becomes infatuated with a customer, ‘Ready’ draws on a tale of real-life heartbreak and the ever-present conundrum of wanting to move on but having reservations about it. Ending on a high ‘Beat Your Mind’ is rampant with vivacity, reaching the heights of self-affirming power pop.

‘Split The Bill’ is an energetic fairground ride of invention and the accompanying videos thus far haven’t disappointed in their exuberance, Speedboat are on to a winner.

Stream ‘Split The Bill’ Here.