Years before the popular single "Wires" nearly topped the U.K. charts, Athlete was yet another Oasis-styled outfit from South London. Childhood friends Carey Willets (bass), Joel Pott (vocals, guitar), Steve Roberts (drums), and Tim Wanstall (keyboards) formed the group in early 2000, initially modeling their sound after that of the famed Gallagher brothers. Athlete eventually transformed itself into an experimental indie rock act, however, and the band's self-titled EP appeared on Regal Recordings in March 2002. The debut single "Westside" was a quick hit, garnering airplay on BBC Radio 1 and paving the way for another single, "You Got the Style," which cracked the Top 40 in June. Parlophone took notice and promptly signed the musicians, who entered the studio with producer Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Beth Orton) in late 2002 to record their first studio LP.