Concert preview: The 1975’s diversity set it apart from other power-chord chugging pop-rock bands

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From the May 1, 2014 edition

In the beginning of The 1975's music video for “Girls,” lead singer/guitarist Matthew Healy and drummer George Daniel have a debate with the video's producers off-screen that they're “not a pop band.” Although that dispute was surely a fake one, it's curious to what extent it was tongue-in-cheek. The Manchester, England, band's self-titled debut is essentially 16 tracks of pop-rock, all exhibiting varying levels of balladry. Given the earnest, subtle whine that makes up Healy's vocals, it wouldn't be completely detestable to give the crew an All-American Rejects comparison.

However, The 1975 deserve more, if not just different, cred for its music. The accomplished math-rock, Foals-like instrumentation sets The 1975 apart from the power-chord chugging of pop-punk boy bands, if even slightly. The overall groove band members employ could see them as Michael Jackson studio musicians in the ’80s, if it weren't for crisp production.

And there's an intrinsic charm to a band whose songs are titled “Chocolate” and “Girls,” which may very well yield a pit audience of tweens and their dads. But don't let that deter your attendance, because should “Sex” be played, one will realize the true substance of The 1975.