Some bands just write good hooks. You can’t pinpoint it, yet it’s there. When one of the hookiest bands around only release one single in four years, you are starved of hooks, and you start looking elsewhere for hooks. However, upon listening to Mae’n Hawdd Pan Ti’n Ifanc for the first time, you realise that there are only a few young bands around who write hooks like Mellt write hooks.
All ten songs on the trio’s first album are notably short, with ‘Rebel’ clocking in as the longest at just three and a half minutes. ‘Sai’n Becso’, the single that was originally released back in 2016, stands confidently at the album’s midway point, lasting only a minute and fifty six seconds. However, they all feel so self-contained, so tastefully cut off, and in a world of long, static space-pop interludes, Mellt’s snappy college-boy snarls takes indie rock back to its roots.
Since ‘Cysgod Cyfarwydd’ appeared on their first EP back in 2014, Mellt have been rated as one of the best chorus writers around, and they seem keen to remind us of that ability on songs such as ‘Rebel’ and ‘Tex’. However, their strikingly humorous and healthy lyrical ode to being young threatens to steal the show as the album’s main attraction. Both of those features help to create an album where an unashamed pop sensibility doesn’t necessarily lead to a compromise in edginess and authenticity.
Stylistically, the Mellt formula is somewhat stretched in the steadier wails of ‘Gwên Werth Mwy na Bwled’, and in the Blur-meets-Libertines bed to guest vocalist Garmon’s classic old school Welsh alt-rock rants. However, as last track ‘Glan Llyn’ halts towards the chorus, the band’s use of the album’s title reminds us all of why we’re here in the first place, and how we’ve listened to a well-constructed half hour of pure indie hookiness.
Words by Gethin Griffiths (Sôn am Sîn)