There are no genre bins for bands to fit into anymore. Modern day musicians are all over the musical map, free to splash around in the hypno-pools of trance before diving into the crystalline waters of indie pop on their way to the moonlit lakes of R&B, where they may decide to take a quick detour into the vast oceans of radio-ready rock 'n' roll. It's good for the artists' palate, and it means unending variety for the listeners, but at what cost? If a band changes its style every other song, does it to be recognizable, but it is unrecognizable, then is it more like a cover band than a strong cohesive unit that's able to inspire legions of fans who hang on every note?
Such are the questions that The 1975's Sex EP arouse. After five songs (song five is a secret track at the tail end of track four), the band still feels like a mystery. Not as in mysterious, but as in who the hell IS this band??!
The dreamy electronic reverb of "Undo" is pleasing at first, but soon the R&B flavors start to sound a little too boy band-esque, and that's just something that can't be unheard; it tarnishes the song. "Sex," the most solid, future-hit song on here sounds a lot like Bloc Party and has an infectious chorus of "She's got a boyfriend now" that remains the most memorable moment of the EP even after repeat listens.
Hot on its trail is "You," an epic rock ballad in the tradition of U2 or Coldplay that has the most potential in terms of longevity. With its poignant lyrics about a breakup, and a heartbreaking guitar riff that repeats itself until it's embedded in your chest, "You" is the song that makes the band. If Manchester's The 1975 decide to peel off their masks and commit to one style, let's hope that it's this one. Otherwise, they may just be another band with a great song in a movie trailer or a car commercial that you never learn the name of.