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Album Review: Semi Finalists by PÆRISH

French alt rock quartet PÆRISH release their debut album Semi Finalists on 2nd October via their own label own label, 14 Bowls Of Cereal. It’s an absolutely storming debut, full of big immediate anthems in waiting you will hear influence from the likes of The Pixies and pre-grunge rock, Dinosaur Jr, The Smashing Pumpkins and Pavement, as well as Ride, shoe-gaze, My Bloody Valentine, math-rock and Biffy Clyro.

It’s one of those records that take you by surprise, even after getting a taster with lead single ‘Undone’ you don’t expect Semi Finalists to be this good. PÆRISH have created 12 instantaneous slabs of catchy alt rock that encapsulate the accessible blend of punk energy and mainstream rock hooks.

Taking inspiration for their name from the character Alan Parrish in the film Jumanji you could be forgiven for falling in love with PÆRISH on first listen. It’s a relatively safe listen, the aforementioned influences are heard throughout the album making it sound familiar but it still comes out fresh and full of life. While it doesn’t sound like an homage to its influences Semi Finalists does conjure the feeling that you are reconnecting with an old friend.

In some cases, familiarity breeds contempt. Here it fashions a sturdy foundation that PÆRISH propel themselves from and execute their sound with real aplomb. The fact that this is great track after great track is testament to just how good it is. Opener ‘Winona Ryder’ sets the bar high and the album never dips, title track ‘Semi Finalists’ and ‘The People Forget’ are genuine alt rock anthems while you can’t help but think massive things are in store for the band with the delectable and wholly accessible ‘ShaqFu’.

The post-punk / post-grunge tones of ‘Party’s Over, Biff’ have to be singled out for praise – it’s at this moment that you realise that Semi Finalists is something special and PÆRISH might just have become your new favourite band. ‘Playing Field’ perfects the sound that contemporaries like Basement and Citizen have strived for over the last year.

This is essential. PÆRISH are going to be huge

AD Rating 9/10

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