An unusual choice of band name can go a long way. So much so that the subtle nod to our favourite yellow cartoon heroes caused me to press play on the catalogue of Springfield Elementary purely off of a whim, and I’m very glad that I did.
The garage Mancunian four-piece haven’t released a song since mid-2020, but to give an overview of their releases so far - (a four-track EP in 2019 followed up by single Doctor, Doctor last June) they’re so easy going that you’re drawn in without even thinking about it.
Stylistic cruxes are kept to a minimum, and that’s what makes it great. It’s bare-boned and without any real desperation to be anything other than exactly what it is. The DIY, largely unedited production on the tracks feels like they’ve whacked them out in one take with no real desire to stop and scrutinise the finer details.
This suits the band, who in their own words were “born out of blind optimism that they can salvage some credibility for themselves one broken guitar string at a time.”
The essence of freeness goes hand in hand with their dry observations and playful metaphors, led by Billy Goodwin’s very Northern vocals that make no attempt to mask the accent with more neutral or Americanised phrasing, because why would they do such a thing? It works for them and gives a genuine authenticity to what they’re doing.
There are two key ingredients to their sound - psychedelia and garage punk, and they flick between these styles throughout their catalogue, often jamming between the two in the same song, adding to their free-flowing nature through the song's structures.
The kaleidoscopic groove of Five Second Rule reminisces of The Doors before they break into the rockabilly outro message that “time is vicious, and precious, yes!!” They reverse this formula in Doctor, Doctor, starting fast and slowing down into a danceable groove, more closer to home this time with an air of Happy Mondays as a spoken word section reflects on anxiety induced experiences, lifting the lid on the most personal insight into the band so far.
After the past year of basking in the quotidian, feeling fine one minute and then completely lost in the next, it is hoped that Springfield Elementary’s next take on this kind of thing will be just around the corner.