Barnsley isn't exactly renowned as a spawning ground of great bands - or bands at all, for that matter. Having given the matter some thought, I have been able to name just the one Barnsley band, in the form of goth-tinged positive punk merchants, The Danse Society, who I happen to rather like. But they called it a day in 1987, which by my estimation was probably before any of the members of The Exhibition were born. It's about time, then, that there was a band to put this northern town onto the musical map, and The Exhibition could just be that band.
Having released three demo EPs to date (the third of which brought the band to my attention, and impressed me considerably), double A-side 'The Crown' / 'Coma' represents The Exhibition's debut single proper. It's quite a leap, and 'The Crown' is one of those songs that begins quite understated before swelling into something monumental. It's a huge grower, too.
In contrast to the Interpol-esque reverb-drenched guitar and the gloom-pop reminiscent of 'Antics' that characterised the 'Bright New Worlds' EP, 'The Crown' begins sparsely and has a decidedly bleak yet anthemic feel. It takes a little while to get started, too, but all the while building tension before the explosion of interweaving guitars that are both hard-edged and brittle at the same time. There's fear fire - and ire - in both the vocals and the high-octane, driven guitars, underpinned by low-slung bass and lively percussion.
'Coma' is also something of slow-burner that builds, the song's strength and emotional texture becoming more apparent with each play.
In short, all the ingredients are there, and The Exhibition deserve to be huge.