Label: Kittiwake Records Release Date: 22/11/10 Official Website: MySpace Buy: Amazon The twee, indie pop niche is one that has two extremes- very very good, or very very shit. It is already a pre-requisite that it be brilliantly fun, and effortlessly danceable. At one end of the spectrum is Belle and Sebastian, and Los Campesinos, whilst at the other is The Kabeedies and Alphabeat. With the release of The Superhero EP, Alphabet Backwards are launching an assault on the glories of the former, with the three-track record meandering melodically through summer, sweaters and, in 'Blink Of An Eye', the achingly brilliant refrain “our lips have all the time in the world, to be together”. This is the second track, building from Slow Club chords into a romp through young romance, but using this tired cliché to innocently thrill, rather than vainly bore you. The twin vocals are insistently charming, unashamedly celebrating their accents and willing you to fall in love with them. In stark contrast, 'Collide' is the weakest track of the EP, brushing dangerously close to the turgid banalities they so actively look to deny. 'It was a great disappointment to be a nineties child/ But the colours were so vibrant, because they collide” is frankly bland, and the unnecessary synths only add to what I cringe to describe as a Counting Crows-esque chorus. It's a poor choice to open the very short record, and doesn't do credit to the rest of the EP. 'Yesterday In June' concludes the record, and harks back to 'Blink Of An Eye', with a vulnerable and sweet vocal underscored by subtle, intimate drumming, with the magic of the song found in the chemistry of the voices. An intermittent, heavier guitar adds an air of menace, undermining the glorious naivety of the lyrics, layering the track with a complexity and intelligence. There is passion, warmth, and a simple charm to the song, that does much to right the wrongs of 'Collide'. As a five-piece from Oxford writing pop songs about “things I like to do” and despair, it is never going to be easy for Alphabet Backwards to crack the mainstream in the way that Alphabeat did, simply because they're a lot better. Photobucket