Fuck, is this DAF? Everyday I Love You Less & Less has some classic 1980 tinny synth bouncing around, lots of howling backing vocals, bouncy guitar. In short it's a typical opening track for a new band's debut album, full of intent and has a very streamlined, intentionally mocking, faux menace prevaling. It has gotta be hot. The synth reprise could be off "Dragnet" (but soon reverts to the Skids). Awww, shuddup you old bastard, what's the point? It's brilliant, brilliant pop. We are all going to hell in a hand cart anyway, so we might as well have some fun, even if it is derivative fun.
I Predict a Riot is a classic, classic teen song, with the stupidest lyrics and riffs imaginable, it could be The Sweet. You can almost hear the little girls' heartbeats skipping a jump. Oh Ricky...maybe if we can run away together, and I'll leave my boring provincial town, and never do homework again...
Modern Way is the slower, social comment song and, luckily, with young bands nowadays, there's always an answer to the dilemmas you kids face. Ricky'll tell you within the confines of this track. Sorry, I'm getting flippant. It's just the music that's doing it. Fuck it, I'll have another beer. Next track please.
Hell. What's this? Na Na Na NA NA (for that is what 'this' is) is great, it's the bloody Sweet I tell you! The Glitter Band, T-Rex, and everyone thinks they sound 1980s, pah, this is ROXY, stoopid! MORE!
You Can Have it All reinforces my suspicions over the hidden Glam/60s cross-over content lurking on 'Employment'. This is a classic Argent song, without Blunstone, but imagine Blunstone singing this. Just try and see what I mean! It's the handclaps and the backing vocals. Lordy this lot are very, very spruce magpies. They'll be giving the Dame a run for his money!
Hey, it's time for Oh My God, the single so cheekily exhibited on Top of the Pops recently. Okay, trend hounds may feel safer with its Numanisms, but for once I won't slag the trend hounds. It's a cracking, bouncing, whipper-snapper of a single. Minus it's front teeth perhaps but, well, what do you expect?
Born To Be A Dancer is a strident guitar heavy shout-along that I can't see being sung in many playgrounds (well, in Accrington anyway). You'd get the shit kicked out of you if you did!
Saturday Night starts off like DAF and then quickly becomes The Cramps covering Aladdin Sane, or Black Sabbath covering the Fall (if that doesn't sound too unpalatable). Actually it's great. All good fun really. Wish they'd get some platforms. What I mean is that when was the last time you heard lyrics referring to going out on a Saturday night in a song post Alvin Stardust? [Suede – Saturday night Ed.]
What Did I Ever Give You is more morose (oh gawd lads, don't get maudlin) and is obviously about G.I.R.L.S. Especially that one who sits behind you in maths. It's got an insiduous doo-wop beat which, YET AGAIN, gives away the glam roots. There's a great, wailing, miserable chorus that is pungent with the reek of games wear (Sir, me socks aren't dry from the wash. Can I miss gym this week, Sir?).
Honoured Tradition is just plain silly, a rant about eating red meat and drinking ale (which did okay for the Saxons after all) interspersed with choppy guitar. Tenpole Tudor, anyone? Carloine Yes (shuuurlly a ref'rensh to 'Caroline No' orff the clashic Beach Boysh Pet Shoundsh, Mish Moneypenny?) is by contrast, a great doo-wop track. Lotsa piano, 1950s style, big chorus, loads of backing vocals. It's a booby dazzler, it really is. The last track, Team Mate, is a weepy, (the girls would be on the streets in protest if there wasn't one included) a camp fire soliloquy, very much removed from the bravura of the rest of the album.
Sorry kids that's yer lot.
To sum up? A classic. Not because it's original, or well played, or visionary, or owt like that, but simply because it is UNASHAMED in its love of pop music. It knows what makes you tick. Music to dance to, or buy a pasty from Greggs to. A cracker.
Words : Richard Foster