Well it’s that time of the month, I’ve been paid, got around to buying some new music and finally to commit some, this month not exactly positive, words to electronic media. So here goes:
Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History
For a man whose musical barometer is stuck firmly between 1985 and 1990 indie pop is supposed to be three things sparky, spunky and jangly. It helps of course if you can chuck together a tune and make toes tap or at least fringes sway. Despite (at times) coming across like Ireland’s answer to Vampire Weekend Tourist History manages to stay on the twee side of smug and is a more than passable debut because of it.
If there’s a word of warning then it’s that you could be sick of these guys come summer, their chirpy tone is very highlight package friendly and you can expect to see plenty of “best bits” to a backdrop from Tourist History over the coming months. Still there’s enough here in favourites like Undercover Martyn, It Started in The Theatre and Something Good Can Wait to get you by that.
The Courteeners – Falcon
The Courteeners left us at the end of their debut, St Jude, bemoaning “You’re just like plasticine, being moulded into a libertine dreamer”. Closing track (and 2nd single) Acrylic sent a clear message to the A&R fodder who don’t know their minds and were all too willing to sell themselves up the river at the first sniff of success.
A strange irony then that follow-up album starts with the “The Opener” which ends up as a lazy trudge of indie rock that has “made for the US market” stamped all over it. Even without the accents, St Jude could have pretty much only come from one place, but as Liam tells us on this track, they’ve had an “affair with LA and New York”. Yep, they’ve been to America and as we all know, USA all too often spells bland, and that’s the case across most of this album.
I’m not sure how the conversation works, “you’ve done alright there lads, acclaimed first album, nice little fanbase, so what next?”; “well cocker, we reckon what we need is to lose our cutting edge, you know, sound a bit more wishy-washy, like”. It sounds rubbish, I know, but how else do you end up from being one of the best new bands around to sounding like your biggest inspiration is a Snow Patrol b-side?
Falcon lacks any of the charm that made The Courteeners first time around, you get the odd spark on the folkier tracks such as “The Rest of the World Has Gone Home”, but in the main it drags its feet in a way that would cry “contractual obligation” if it weren’t so early in their career.
Chew Lips – Unicorn
I’m undecided about the renaissance of 80s style electro pop, usually things are better first time around and when what came first time were relatively few gems amongst a pile of pre-programmed dross then it’s difficult to get excited about an updated version. And that’s pretty much all there is to say about Unicorn. If you’ve bought into an eighties revival of any sort then you’ll be happy to file this next to your le Roux CD if not then there’s every chance that it’ll leave you feeling all, like “meh!”
Ellie Goulding – Lights
There’s been a lot of fuss about Ellie Goulding, loads of awards before she even got to her eagerly anticipated first album and here it is. The best thing that I can say is that it’s the perfect album for someone who can’t decide whether the current fad for affected female vocalists is more annoying that the current fad for retro 80s electronic pop. It ticks all those boxes and more, on first listen, as annoying as hell and with no promise of getting better.
And before it gets any worse, I’ll leave it for now. I’ll be back soon with, hopefully a more cheery selection including Gorillaz, New Young Pony Club, Scrooblious Pip and The St Winifred’s School Choir.
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