Epic guitar bands that play well off the bat are not easy to come by. Of the last couple of years, two or three buzz bands may have stepped up to the plate labelled “saviour of British guitar music”, usually self-appointed but otherwise bigged up in conventional music press as such, and probably more than that number have been swiftly slapped down as pretenders to this elusive throne, for reasons pertaining to being arrogant; being really, really arrogant; or just not being very good after all the hype has subsided. That’s how we like our British guitar bands, right? Like our Olympians? Quiet, modest, but secretly really good? All about the struggle and perseverence and whatnot? Perhaps we like our guitar bands a bit more like Oxford’s MMX – ballsy enough in their music alone so as to not have to get their swagger on in respect of declaring themselves kings of guitar world. With tunes like Cold World and Follow, they might have good reason to wear their quiet confidence with a smile so slight that you’d have to probe them very closely indeed to detect even a modicum of smugness about them. The former – complete with arty/sexy beach video below – dominantly displays a commercial aspect to the band that would most likely make an A&R kill a friend to get a look-in with these boys on account of riding Biffy Clyro and Snow Patrol wavelengths; the latter, however, sweeps away doubts that may otherwise be cast on the band’s indie-cred points by showing a darker edge to their songwriting abilities, and throws in elements of Bastille, Sound Of Guns and Escapists into the mix, as well as serving as evidence that these guys are amongst the best stoic-starers we’ve encountered, and further giving credence to our above-mentioned idea that you can say something quite clearly without actually saying it if you’ve the means to do so. If there is indeed a line between commercial popstardom and a genuinely profound aptitude to write songs that people could and probably should give a shit about, then MMX may well be the band that will walk it, and on the basis of these they’ll walk it rather well.
MMX – Cold World[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEK4XpajcGE]
MMX – Follow[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCNjwOExQ-o]