The Rills – ‘After Taste’ EP review: energetic indie anthems and poetic vulnerability

From the floor, you could see two pairs of Converse,” roll the words of The Rills’ frontman Mitch Spencer on ‘Spit Me Out’, the fiery garage punk opener of their new ‘After Taste’ EP. It speaks directly to the spirit and aesthetic of this spritely guitar trio from the lush-but-humble Midlands city of Lincoln: young love and kitchen-sink melodrama told through ‘00s indie dreams.

Having met as teenagers in a skatepark before coming together over their shared love of Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines, Oasis and Pixies, NME 100 2022 alumni The Rills have steadily gained a national following and decent radio play with a run of singles and EPs. Their songs worship at the altar of the Meet Me In The Bathroom era but are delivered with the freshness, zeal and purity that can only come from mates playing because there’s nothing else they can do to escape small-town boredom.

What they’ve got in spades is the knack of a shameless indie banger; see ‘Landslide’, which rollicks along with the pop ferocity of Two Door Cinema Club being chased out of a Propaganda night by The Cribs. The flavours they adopt are what some snobs would snarkily write off as “landfill”, but it’s not for them. It’s for young guitar lovers coming of age and the faithful who confound the media by getting regional bands to Number One, the students still packing out The Leadmill and Academy club nights, and the hungry who keep Courteeners’ stadium gigs full of teenagers.

This is a promising indie band giving their all away from the sneers. There’s fun and life in their music, but also a lot of heart. ‘Falling Apart’ is a grunge bop retelling of a relationship in decline that’ll have you dancing while you cry into your snakebite, while true EP highlight and closer ‘Brayford Odeon’ shows the most promise as a real heart-wrencher.

Do you remember when we left together – the days that we spent when it felt like we were the only ones? Because I do,” Spencer softly sighs. His voice is rife with a cracking and poetic indie troubadour vulnerability not dissimilar to Pete Doherty in solo or early Babyshambles mode as he tries to navigate flailing romance from the car park of Lincoln’s central and overpriced cinema. Speaking as a fellow Yellowbelly Lincolnite, this writer has literally been there, but you don’t need to have seen our Cathedral city to get goosebumps when that surprise mandolin kicks in and makes small town life feel all the more epic.


  • Release date: March 17
  • Record label: Nice Swan Records

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