Marc and Becki are The Webb. They formed late 2012 and begun creating their modern twist on Dark 80’s/pop/punk/goth in a homemade studio.
With self-proclaimed influences ranging from The Banshees to Gary Numan, there’s also a flavour of early electronic/experimental bands of the 80’s. Apart from the music, the theatrical side of the band is well catered for as both Marc and Becki bring their fashion influence into the music both through their clothing and the self-made videos they release. This is a lifestyle choice for them, not “just” a band. They live it so you feel it.
There’s a great mix of Electronic Kit/Drum Machines, sequenced analogue hardware and stringed instruments on the album. Not a computer in sight on this one, old school. Not all programmed, you can hear there’s a “human” behind the music so it brings life to the synthetic. Vocally, Becki has a great way of singing in a robotic manner by way of spoken word and by singing in a haunting voice. With so much drawn from the early electronic gothic period, you might have been mistaken that this album may come across as somewhat “dated”, I’m not going to say it was a pleasant surprise that it’s not, more that I’m glad there’s a throwback to those early bands and that it’s had the influence of two people who know how to bring it forward. Nostalgic in nature, if you were there first time around, but fresh if you weren’t. There’s no need to start digging out your old vinyl and tapes, stream this or even better, buy direct from the band or go see them if you can, it’s more than just music.
Great throbbing bass intro with some random “tom” thrown in before the robotic/verging on manic voice kicks in with “We’re Born, we’re fed, we’re raised on dread” Great into/message to kick the album off. The synths fill out the song with a great bass line hook all the way through it. Already looking to hit repeat on the stream!
First in my book
Great sub/synth on this track as the evil wicked story begins. Cleverly constructed lyrics, which tell a wicked tale. Worthy of listening and determining the ending.
Trust Me I know
I can almost hear a PiL demo here from ’78 as the songs starts with drums and bass. As the sequenced synths come in, there are pop tones and staccato fingered solos of early Depeche Mode but with a real cynical vocal delivery and not the clean cut imagery of the afore mentioned band. Becki has a wicked way with words and they grow on you throughout the song as the earworm works its way into your brain.
Get Up and Go
Similar to the previous track, bass and drums dominate but the synths soar in the background. “I’m running on empty, no get up and go” is the main lyric to the song, which is ironic because the rhythm of the song makes you want to “Get Up and Go”. It’s my favourite so far. (Repeat hit!). Similar in musical delivery to Sleaford Mods, simple but incredibly effective.
The first time I played a massive sounding synth, I hit keys at random, this is what this songs reminds me of as it starts, massive sounding chords dominate before Becki describes school days. Easy to identify with those bleak days. “Sit down, stand up, do as I say” – “Day after day” was this your memory?
Serious sub/synth again on this track and Becki paints another bleak picture. It sounds like she’s been drawn into another dimension.
This track sounds similar to Carter USM, but with the eerie haunting vocal of Becki instead of that of the chirpy chaps from yester year. Upbeat and hypnotic with the repetitive “Questions” begin sung.
Alice In Wonderland
It doesn’t get more gothic than this, a terrific rendition of the famous story from Lewis Carroll. Lots of spatial synths and sound effects with a drop of 80’s video game sounding synth smack bang in the middle just to throw you off. Wonderfully dreamy vocals echoing like you are dropping down the rabbit hole into the hidden world.
I Don’t Need
The alternative to what Pete Shelly of The Buzzcocks said when he sung “I need” back in ’78 well, Becki tell us she’s just happy being herself as she rattles off the unwanted tribulations of this world. A complicated but rhythmic backing track, which has a semaphore message running through it, of which we’ll will probably never know (unless Marc can enlighten us).
Raised on Dread
A remix of the opening track of the album, faithful enough that it is recognisable but in true remix fashion, it has a life of its own. Essential listening and would make a great track to be played in a small dark venue at a loud volume.
The Webb are greater than the sum of their parts. For a duo, they have a real presence, which comes through more as a band. Great production considering how/where it was recorded and enough idiosyncrasy to be alluring. I’m now heading for the back catalogue as intrigue has the better of me. Don’t let The Webb pass you by.