Defend Moscow are proof enough that a book should never be judged by its cover; 'Manifesto' confounds ears within seconds. From the band name and the song title, one could reasonably expect a shower of sixth form lyrics about how the revolution is coming, recited angrily over noisy guitars.
What it actually delivers is a brilliant, danceable pop song with a hard edge. It swaggers into life immediately, a five piece band with a female vocal helping it evoke memories of the best 80’s pop songs, few though they were.
There’s a dash of funk as the opening line comes in before a male voice takes over the lead: "At the start we were all together, one, one hope, one dream, one destiny..." At this point it runs the risk of sounding like The Human League. The band themselves are fans and it’s here this is most in evidence. Mercifully, they navigate past that particular pitfall and on into the chorus: "You will never know what it’s like to be me, you can try, try, try but you’ll never believe cos everything was right now everything is wrong..."
After the more wistful chorus the groove comes storming back in and singer Sofie resumes vocal duties. It’s almost unavoidable from hereon not to recognise the uncanny resemblance to 'Love Games' from The Mighty Boosh - it’s easy to imagine Old Gregg dancing along. This is no bad thing.
The band have crafted an accessible pop sound that acts as a neat contrast to the revolution rhetoric and propaganda pictures. ‘Manifesto’, while not revolutionary, is a pleasant surprise.