For some time, Speaker Speaker has been one of those bands that when asked if I’ve heard them, I would reply that I had heard of them. I knew that they were local. I knew that they rocked. And, I knew they were hyped.
Hype is a fickle mistress. It can help slingshot a band into the world’s ears and hearts, but it can also outrun the band creating an eye-blackening backlash. We Won’t March tiptoes between the extremes of hypetitude, but doesn’t come out completely ungrazed by the sword of overratedness.
Speaker Speaker’s new EP is very promising. Straight-ahead, lo-fi garage punk that I imagine would be phenomenal to see live (the two live tracks on the album, “Call It Off” and “Radio Days” sound great). The disc sounds a lot like an early Thermals EP that I have just about worn out, and if Speaker Speaker can take the same road as them, they can count me in as a loyalist.
Honestly though, it’s hard really to judge a band based on a 15-minute EP, especially when two of the five songs are live and another is a cover (Jawbreaker’s “Do You Still Hate Me?”). The raw energy of this album is devastating, and whatever the band lacks in trained musicianship is made up in pure, tried-and-true rock n’ roll gumption.
The album is good, but for a young band it's dangerous to be overexposed too early in their career. True local music fans can nurture and root for a band as it grows and progresses. Does Speaker Speaker know that getting thrown into the hype machine spotlight too quickly means that The End's My Chemical Romance fans of the world will expect too much too fast, and when they don’t get it, will throw 'em into the gutter already overflowing with yesterday’s next big thing?
We Won’t March shows a lot of promise. If the band can restrain the hype and not explode before maturity, I expect to see great things from them in the future. I just hope that they don’t end up like the last End “indie darling"… I can’t even remember their name now.