If you can say one thing about The Minutes, it’s that they’ve got nerve. First coming to our attention via a corporate sponsored band competition, their initial moment in the spotlight was a fleeting one. After one single they seemed to disappear, confirming our suspicions that such a route was hardly a guarantee of a serious career. Such a viewpoint, it now seems, was slightly wide of the mark – although The Minutes’ re-emergence has had little to do with industry patronage and is more a result of the band going away and getting their act together.
Debut album Marcata comes on the back of a string of excellent singles, all of which marked the three piece out as one of the year’s most notable bands to keep an eye on. They also presented a distinct sound from the trio, a thundering combination of old school rock ‘n’ roll with modern guitar music. Both aspects are confirmed by the brisk Marcata. It certainly cements their status as one of the most exciting sounding bands on the domestic scene, packing 12 tracks into a speedy 34 minutes. The band’s new label Modern Citizen has enabled them to add a few tweaks to the original recordings (a bit of brass here, some piano there), this is still very much the sound of the three band members – albeit one that many of the same ilk would be hard pressed to match.
What makes the album work so well is that demonstration of nerve. The Minutes have thrown themselves into the process with gusto, resulting in a record that could have sounded empty and hollow but instead fizzes with life. Lines such as “I could be your Jesus” and harmonica solos sound absolutely genuine here, delivered without a hint of doubt. It’s such an approach that not only makes The Minutes stand out at home, but could well stand them in good stead further afield. If you were looking to pick holes you could argue that Marcata could do with just a touch more variation along the way and that, for a short album, it runs a little out of steam before the end but such criticisms are small. The Minutes have taken their time in getting here and it was worth every second.