Listen/review: Team Picture – Birthday Blues

Words by Nick Mee. @Nickjmee

Initialising as a blast of muscular psych, flooded with washes of phased guitar over rooted chords and a near-motorik beat, Team Picture’s ‘Birthday Blues’ doesn’t seem in any great rush to diversify from this well-trodden course. But just as you’re beginning to fear the Leeds band’s adherence to brute-force krautrock has left them as aggressively inflexible as the Russian football experience, they rustle up a spine-tingling flourish. A chord change introduces what passes for the chorus, the song’s sole vocal line and striking harmonised testimony: “Ain’t nobody wanna be friends with me”. Granted, the progressional shift is hardly free jazz and a six-minute vortex of fuzzed-out bulky sonics may not win over everyone’s support, but there’s a thrilling charge to ‘Birthday Blues’ that would be enough to see Team Picture comfortably progressing from the group stage. 

Birthday Blues is out now