For this week’s New Tunes Tuesday I’ve taken a look at Mr. Tom, a four-piece indie outfit from the Southampton area of southern England. Based specifically in the enchanting New Forest, Mr. Tom is comprised of four unassuming guys called Dom, Steve, Nick and Lee, managed by another everyday bloke called Simon — these guys are an old-fashioned hard-working group of musicians, and their music is a great indication of their strong work ethic and decent abilities.
Over the past two months Mr. Tom have been hard at work on their debut tour, playing shows in a number of cities and towns around the country. They released their debut single ‘Feet Hit the Floor’ on March 18th, and will return to Southampton venue The Joiners on April 6th to officially ‘launch’ the release with what they are dubbing a ‘homecoming’ gig. Through this song, the band have been compared to modern indie powerhouses such as Foals and Two Door Cinema Club, and I would say they even sound a bit like Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs at a push. Bold claims, you might say, but success seems even more likely when you learn that ‘Feet Hit the Floor’ was produced by James Kenosha, who in the past has worked with Pulled Apart by Horses, Dinosaur Pile-Up and Dry the River, three acts who have seen varying levels of mainstream success in recent years.
But what of this big single? Well, it’s pretty damn good. Kicking off with funky guitar work at the high end of the fretboard, Mr. Tom fit perfectly into the modern indie pop-rock sound we’ve all grown to know and love as of late. The rhythm section are clearly talented, with the drummer nailing tight fills all over the place and the bassist complementing the frontline perfectly with some funky melodies. The instrumentation, then, is brilliant, but it’s the vocals where the song is perhaps let down. Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Tom frontman “Donny B” can definitely sing, but there’s nothing particularly notable about his voice — it sounds just like every other ‘cool’ indie singer around. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if I was to pick up on anything I guess it would be that. The lyrics are nothing special either, but then again for this kind of music they don’t have to be (I particularly like the Scissor Sisters-esque chorus beginning).
In reality, ‘Feet Hit the Floor’ is simply not enough on which to judge this band. The song is brilliant, but it feels like they have a lot more to say than this three-minute gem, and I await a debut EP or album in the next year or so to show us more. I checked out some more of their tunes on Soundcloud, and if I’m honest they were nothing special (although they are just demos, so hopefully their released material adheres to the same high standard as their first single). Watch this space — Mr. Tom could be a band to watch in the near future.