Union Sound Set release their new album Start/Stop. Formally known as Prego the band decided to change their name due to some various line-up changes. Something that might please many of their old fans is that many of the tracks you hear on Start/Stop were actually written whilst the band were performing under the name Prego, Frontman Edd explains the need for a name change "Most of the songs were written under the name Prego, Union Sound Set was about giving ourselves as five guys an identity that was ours and ours alone, and gave the band a new lease of life and a fresh emphasis." It's apparent that each of the members have a wide range of influences and it's evident through their playing/performing. The new single Cause And Resolve starts off sounding similar to a something that could be found on one of Bloc Party's albums but that all changes when the singing and bass come into play. Though the guitars and bass sound a little scrappy the chorus is a real saving grace.
Hiding Places is one of the many highlights on the album and was an obvious choice for a single, its beginning might be simple but makes for a perfect building block for the chorus which once again shows Union Sound Set are able to construct punchy and catchy choruses. Trailing is another highpoint, this time it shows a more immediate side to Start Stop, it's loud and instant. As you get further into the album, comparisons to bands such as The Gaslight Anthem and Airborne Toxic Event might be drawn and at times they sound more like they're from America than London. Hardly a bad thing when you're keeping good company.
The only negative thing about Start/Stop is the irregular track listing, the opening track My Current State (Is Your Latest Objective) isn't a typical opener as it doesn't really set the tone for the rest of the album. Elsewhere, the 3 slower songs Here's To You Years; Days; Months and This Will Change Us are clumped together in the middle of the album causing it to lull. This isn't to say these are bad songs, but the overall feel would change if they were separated.
Overall Start/Stop is one of the strongest debut albums of the year, once you've pressed play, you won't want it to stop.