From the first moments, the crisp guitar tone, and the use of that dotted eighth delay on a hypnotic riff, it was clear to me that ‘The Real Thing’ would not disappoint. And it did not. Conflict Choir’s latest single is a solid piece of alternative rock that’s engaging and tightly executed.

Conflict Choir are a Birmingham-based alternative rock band, and they are quite fluent in the kind of spellbinding auras and atmospheres popularized by famous Pink Floyd songs such as ‘Time’. Where they stand out is with their immediately inventive guitar tones and lines, such as the previously mentioned delayed riff on ‘The Real Thing’, or the heavily modulated tone on last year’s ‘Algorithm’, and also with their bold venturing into the realms of operatic and space rock, both of which can be experienced on ‘The Real Thing’, their latest single.

A band made of professional session players; it is not surprising that every single note on ‘The Real Thing’ is calculated just right. The song is a masterpiece in restraint. Not just in the lines themselves or the layering, but in the composition itself. First, the song is almost sparse. A busy guitar line fills the mix quite nicely beneath the affectionate vocals and on top of the crunchy rhythm section, with cloudy pads and ethereal hums left to fill the gaps. The chorus could have gone anywhere, with the onslaught of distortion on the rhythm guitar, the song could have gone full-on opera mode, but instead, they utilized a few chords expertly, putting to full use the gritty tone of the guitar and the boomy bass and driving beat to create an aurally rewarding experience.

A masterclass production job makes the mix a gratifying thing to witness, this song about modern man’s frustration with the rapid pace of technological evolution goes back to the basics of rock. With grandiose performances, dynamic composition, and whole heaps of rock star attitude, Conflict Choir score an absolute winner with ‘The Real Thing’.