The Contrast

The Contrast

 Middlesex, New Jersey, USA
BandRock

The line-up now settled as a four piece The Contrast were able reproduce Reid’s colorful array of guitars and harmonies live, with Reid covering vocals and guitar, James Crossley on drums, Richard ‘Angus’ Mackman on bass and Spencer Hart on rhythm guitar and backing vocals.

Biography

How did four guys from the East Midlands get to be described as “One of the best bands on the planet – and England too,” by Little Steven Van Zandt?

Like many bands, The Contrast have had their fair share of; name changes, line-up changes, bad management deals, major label interest and time-wasting blind alleys over the years. Singer-songwriter and guitarist David Reid formed the band in 1998 with the not-so-simple idea of writing great pop songs that he would get a buzz from hearing. Luckily Jim McGarry at Rainbow Quartz got a buzz from it too, when he heard them the following year.

The band signed to the Rainbow Quartz label in spring 2000, and immediately began work on their debut album, ‘Mystery#1’, with Andy Hawkins at the mixing desk. The album was launched with a limited-edition 7” vinyl (split between ‘Mystery#1’ and the track ‘TickBox’ by label-mates Fraff). This was followed soon after by the single ‘She’s Been Here Before’ - which sold out on the first week of release. Then in April 2001 the album, Mystery#1, came out in the UK. The critics compared the band to REM, Television, The Byrds, Lou Reed, Pernice Brothers, Elvis Costello, Bob Mould and The Jam - and that’s just fine by them.

The line-up now settled as a four piece The Contrast were able reproduce Reid’s colorful array of guitars and harmonies live, with Reid covering vocals and guitar, James Crossley on drums, Richard ‘Angus’ Mackman on bass and Spencer Hart on rhythm guitar and backing vocals.

With a stack of new songs and a lot of enthusiasm The Contrast hit the studio again and started work on what they hoped would be their best work yet. Their latest recording, FADE BACK IN, is arguably their most polished and sophisticated album to date with songs that sound like REM at their peak with a generous nod to Television and the Jam; the results are a decidedly fresh pop record that blends chiming guitar chords of the late 60s’ with a neo-garage rock edge.

David Reid describes the new album as, “...the most focused and direct stuff we’ve done. I’m very happy with all our records but I think this one is the one that most consistently sounds like The Contrast. Lyrically, this one is a bit less ‘inward looking’ - I found myself thinking a lot about recent events and culture - and I think this is a record that could only have been made now. Having said that, we also wanted to (and did) have a lot of fun mixing up and warping our collective influences from the past.”