What a difference a year makes, as 2013 moved into 2014 it seemed the world was at the feet of Puppet Rebellion, the great white hope of Manchester music, tipped by the movers and shakers to be the next big thing.
Taking the scene by storm in 2013 with a series of scintillating live performances backed up by the release of stunning debut EP Chemical Friends the 5 piece carried the momentum into 2014 by releasing the No Means Yes EP to much critical acclaim and playing to bigger and bigger audiences across Manchester and beyond. It then came as a great shock in the summer of last year when Simon Monaghan left the band leaving Puppet Rebellion without their talismanic frontman and the drive to glory stalled.
The band are now back with new frontman Oliver Davies and new music in the form of Watch Me Fall, released as a single on the 23rd February and backed up by b-side Claim to Fame along with a series of live dates around the UK.
With a nod to The Stranglers “No More Heros” in the opening salvo Watch Me Fall flows gloriously between angular riff and chiming melody, the modern take on the post-punk sound that previous Puppet Rebellion material captured so well is very much in evidence and is ceratinly helped by the work of producer Gavin Monaghan, whose work with Editors amongst others, can be heard in the finished article. Vocal comparisons will be made between the new and previous singer, in terms of tone there is a definite similarity which will please old Puppet Rebellion fans but Oliver is not in the shadows here and more than holds his own and puts his own style on the track.
Whilst not having the immediate impact of, say, The Greatest Lie Ever Told the new track does show a more polished and progressive sound musically and hints that greatness may yet still be achieved. Questions do still remain for me though. Will Puppet Rebellion recapture the momentum they had built previously? Can the band move on from losing an integral part? All questions that should be answered in the coming months, and I for one will be keeping a close eye on them.