Five O'Clock Heroes (with Agyness Deyn)
From: New York City

Sounds like: True post-punk, as in 'from the early days of MTV, before Oasis came along and redefined britpop.' But the guitar-based stuff, not the synth-driven new wave.

This is the band that everybody suddenly knows because their upcoming single features vocals by supermodel Agyness Deyn. Describing themselves as 'two parts British and two parts American,' they've been derided as a Strokes rip-off, but I disagree - the early-80s British influence is far too clear. There's the peppy jangle of the Jam, the vocals are reminiscent of XTC, and "Don't Say Don't" has more than a bit of the reggae groove that was so distinctive in the early days of the Police. Overall, it's not particularly a new sound, but it's actually catchy and fresh in a lot of ways. When I read about the new Agyness Deyn song, I was all ready to write it off as a gimmick - which it kind of is - but after giving Five O'Clock Heroes a listen, I'm all the more interested to hear it.

Updated 13 June: The Agyness Deyn collaboration, "Who," is out, and y'know what? It's not too shabby. I gotta say, for my money, I think I like the non-Agyness tunes better, but I gotta give credit where credit is due. Far from being a token addition, Agyness Deyn makes the Five O'Clock Heroes a whole new band. The groove is still there, the jangle is still there, but it's a very different creature than the rest of the 'Heroes songs. The male-female vocal interplay is interesting, and as Agnyess takes over on the chorus this interesting little indie band suddenly develops a chart-topping sound that to my ear is actually pretty original, too. You can bet "Who" is going to be all over the airwaves all summer long.

Favorite song: Speak Your Language

Video: Who (feat. Agyness Deyn)