UPDATE: I’ve been informed by their manager that Partisan are planning to release a new single and an album in the early months of 2016, so consider that concern addressed for now.
We’ve all had the experience of hearing a great new band, downloading their solitary album, and wondering…is that it? The quality of their music is impeccable; in fact, you would love to listen to more of it. So why aren’t they putting out more music and pushing for success?
I had a similar experience in listening to Partisan, a British band out of Manchester. I took a liking to their first track within about fifteen seconds of hearing it. Each subsequent song I heard was one I could easily imagine hearing on the radio, especially in a context like the Appetizer. There were all the elements of good British rock: smooth progression, just the right mixture of forcefulness and subtlety, a likable lead singer, and catchy lyrics. They describe themselves as “passionate about their cause” and their music as “bold and unflinching rock anthems.” In many ways, I found in Partisan a livelier counterpart to the restrained-yet-expressive tone of The National. If that subdued American group can appeal to my inner Briton, the energetic Lancashire trio definitely brings out a distinctly American fire reminiscent of highway-blazing.
So after nearly two and a half years of existence, what explains their mere five-track offering? The only album release they have to speak of is an EP, which is unnamed on their SoundCloud page. For that matter, the same page refers to “future gigs planned for Spring 2014.” Maybe the answer here is that Partisan one of those rare bands who isn’t suffering from a lack of quality, but of quantity. Again, I can fully get behind their music, but who wants to listen to just five tracks on repeat?
The solution is, perhaps, twofold. Obviously, we’d like to see another new release, and preferably a full-length EP. This would have the double advantage of more material (padding for the résumé, so to speak) and a fresh burst of publicity for these aspiring artists. Since that move might take some time, perhaps a more important immediate step would be a revitalization of their image. As mentioned, their bio could use something of an update, but there’s an additional deficit here. After both reading about Partisan and listening to the tracks, I still don’t have a sense of who they are as a band. Energy is one thing; any new artist can boast of creative juices, and many have the talent to carry it out. But if Partisan really want to break out, we as listeners need to care, to know why their efforts and energies should matter.
Remember, I have nothing but good things to say about Partisan’s music – I’ll probably listen to them again. What I really want to see as a potential fan is for them to take this potential beyond a half-dozen slightly standout tracks. These fellows make music like musicians, so it’s only fair to ask for them to step out of the amateur stage. The fans want it, and the artists deserve it. So wow us!