- 04 Apr 11
One-track ponies run out of steam
Back in 2007, when The View released their debut album Hats Off To The Buskers, they exuded a certain youthful enthusiasm and ability to craft a communal singalong of a chorus that masked their limitations. Fast forward to the present day and they seem something of a one-trick pony. What’s more, it’s not a particularly good trick.
After the debacle of 2009’s Owen Morris-produced Which Bitch?, the band decided to draft in Youth to helm this latest collection. However, his crisp production and the high-gloss finish of Bread and Circuses only serves to lay bare the quartet’s shortcomings. Opener ‘Grace’ and ‘Beautiful’ both have something of the power-pop brilliance of their fellow countrymen Teenage Fanclub, but, for the most part, the Dundee moppets still seem in thrall to the sounds of The Libertines and Oasis. It’s an uninspiring diet. The lyrics on the stodgy ‘Underneath The Lights’ are flatly descriptive and charmless, the clip-clop melody of ‘Girl’ induces horrifying flashbacks to The Fratellis and titling one song ‘Tragic Magic’ just seems an admission of creative surrender.
However, there are moments when they almost escape the mire. ‘Sunday’ bolsters the scampering guitars with some jittery electronics and, during the chorus of ‘Friend’, they get their funky groove on. Ultimately, though, this is the sort of music best administered in small doses. Over the course of an entire album, the effect is comparable to being cornered by a drunk at a party and regaled with the same story... a dozen times.