Memoirs, the peppy, unspectacular but danceable debut from the Surrey-based WinterKids, sounds as catchy and contemporary as the hippest neo-new-wave synth/guitar-rock out of Manchester or Brooklyn. But this young quartet’s sound is more formulaic than imaginative.
The first single, “Tape It,” has all the elements of a huge summer smash. Multilayered instrumentals and purely distilled teenaged romantic angst. The dizzying head-rush of pining for a girl who just wants to be friends. A simple repeated chorus, perfect for screaming aloud with the gang on the way to Cold Stone Creamery. All that’s keeping “Tape It” from becoming a smash is placement on the appropriate television-show soundtrack. Other catchy segments appear, and both the torch song “Someone Else’s Clothes” and the piano power ballad “Playing Cards with Gingerbread” offer a welcome attempt at variety.
Not much else here does. The upbeat sweetness and predictable breaks that precede inevitable returns to double-time dance-rock beats and nasal sing-chanting of limp one-line choruses might facilitate sing-alongs in a live setting. But on record, they quickly wear thin.