Gig review: Team Picture at St Austin's Theatre, Wakefield

Team Picture's debut mini-album, the just released Recital, is divided into an electronic-pop side and a caustic guitar side.

Team Picture.
Team Picture.

Challenged by a somewhat muddy sound mix, the Leeds sextet are forced into favouring the latter by circumstance alone for their Long Division set.

At the heavier end of the post-punk spectrum, their choice of Matt Peel as producer is instructive in their contemporary influences. Responsible for releases by local heroes Eagulls and Pulled Apart By Horses, there’s a similar discordance to their material. It’s a sonic aggression that veers from the Krautrock-ian ‘Birthday Blues’, to their thunderously growling guitars, and the sub-rapped sneer “show me what you’re made of!”

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Any sense of confrontation is somewhat lessened by their appearance in uniform white boiler suits and naval jackets. It’s also counterbalanced by the 80s influences that occasionally surface in the mix, with touches of The Cure’s gothic, driving bass-lines and Tubeway Army-style synth bringing a pop melody to even the heaviest of songs.

The presence of three singers means they can mix and match styles according to ability, for while none have especially strong voices in their own right they know how to work within their limitations. On recent single ‘(I Want Your) Life Hack’, for instance, guitarist Josh and keyboardist Hannah battle it out over fuzz pedals and an angular rhythm that’s like Rage Against The Machine covering Talking Heads.

Delivered with enough conviction to compensate for the poor sound quality, they show that they’re made of a team spirit that could carry them far.