Snappily-dressed and touting tight, punchy indie-pop with attitude, Melbourne’s The Solicitors are a band that demand attention. The band’s fronted by Liverpool-born, now local Lee Jones who’s joined by lead guitarist Laf Zuccarello, bassist James Manning and drummer Matt Stirling with the acts recording output, the EP – Made To Measure (2013), a standalone single – Quicksand in the same year and now, in 2014, their debut album, Blank Check.
The lead and preceding single from Blank Check is called If You Let Me Hold You and musically, the song is punchy and attitude-laden, with Zuccarello’s deliberate guitar style the perfect bed for Jones’ half-spoken Elvis Costello vocals.
The film clip for If You Let Me Hold You is slick, with the band performing under stadium lighting and executing many well-rehearsed rock moves – all dressed in suits, with Lee sporting thick rimmed glasses. This visual aesthetic, combined with the band’s musical style, evokes Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo. Funnily enough, not only was this reference unintended but Lee didn’t even know who River’s Cuomo was until a couple of years ago.
“I’ve gotten into [Weezer] over the past year or two and love them but the first time I heard of them was when someone said we sound like them and I was like, ‘These guys are great.’ I’m not sure if Rivers has exactly the same record collection as me, but we definitely remind people of Weezer,” Jones says. After listening to both bands, one could confidently infer the aforementioned ‘look’ it’s a collection of Elvis Costello’s records Lee and Cuomo have in common.
Jones is chatting to Beat ahead of The Solicitors’ album launch this Saturday October 25 at The Gasometer. According to him, his band evolved from a dream in England to the current four-piece which play gigs around Melbourne.
“We’ve evolved as a band in a similar fashion to how our audience has gathered,” he says. “We’ve been gaining a bit of traction slowly but surely, and have gotten to this point where we have an album that we’re proud of, and it is about the same time we’re starting to get a few people to our shows.”
Before Jones and Zuccarello had even left England, they’d already connected via a social site for musicians wanting to start a band in Melbourne. “We met on Melband: that’s like a musicians’ community forum. I had put up a post on there and Laf got in contact with me and said something along the lines of, ‘I’m not a very good guitarist, but I like all the bands that you mentioned as liking and I like wearing suits,’ to which I said, ‘Great, you’re in.’ ” The bands Jones had listed were Elvis Costello, The Clash, and Talking Heads.
One would be forgiven for thinking that band’s penchant for suits and the name would imply at least one member is a member of the legal fraternity. However, Lee is explains clearly they’re not lawyers.
“We are definitely not solicitors,” he laughs. “We’re in no way involved with the legal profession either – the suits are a bit of a throwback thing, and it was important to us to have an image. We laboured over names for awhile and then a friend said, ‘You’re always in suits, why don’t you call yourselves the lawyers or something?’ Then we thought, ‘How about The Solicitors?’ because it has different connotations, and being an indie-pop band it was nice to have ‘The’ in there.”
BY DENVER MAXX
THE SOLICITORS are launching Blank Check at The Gasometer on Saturday October 25 with Hunting Season, Ginkinta and The Wellingtons. Tickets are $13 or head to popboomerangrecords.bandcamp.com to get the ticket and a showbag offer that includes the album plus other goodies.