The Winter Olympics – Profit and Loss
London based dance-punk band The Winter Olympics debut Profit and Loss as an ambitious, accessible and jovial attempt at creating a unique rock and roll record. Claiming that Daft Punk, Def Leppard and eighties music influences their sound, The Winter Olympics certainly are different. Lead singer Andrew Wagstaff’s vocals certainly have the manner of Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, but with a slightly more light-hearted feel. That is a significant element of the group’s demeanour however. Just by looking at the track listing one knows before the record has even begun that this group are up for a laugh – a credible laugh at that.
Opening with Regional Showcase, The Winter Olympics bravely demonstrate that they can scream attitude in an acceptably tongue-in-cheek way. Chanting as if they are school kid rioters they only subtly introduce their electronic influence at this early stage of the album. The single Fags and Girls cleverly links the longing of defeating tobacco addiction with unhealthy relationships. Here, only gentle synths are heard in the background. It is when we arrive at They Launched a Probe that a bright electronic 80s motif opens the track. Yet the chorus shows that they are still capable of merging a typical though likeable punk influence into the song.
From nostalgic, lyrical dedications to the attractive elements of DIY punk and first love (I Prefer the Early Stuff) to recognisable house-like piano keyboard riffs (I’m Feeling European), this album sounds like five young DJs with instruments bashing out their favourite music at an impromptu house party.
“All the bands you like are shit”, Wagstaff casually sings on the closing track. From listening to this debut it’s up to the listener to decide whether the bands they like, which have clearly helped shape their sound, are good or not. But one thing is for sure The Winter Olympics have come out with something that is accurately what they describe themselves on their blog as – “not remotely like the other bands”.
Matt Di Salvo
Profit and Loss is released on 1st October 2012.
Watch the video for I Prefer the Early Stuff here: