The Music - Welcome To The North

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There's more swagger and bravado in here than in the Gallagher household at Christmas.



 

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Young. Talented. Two of the most sickening words in the English language. Sadly, it's the only way to describe The Music apart from saying they are four young and talented lads from Leeds. Shit, I did it again. Well, they are. From Leeds that is. They're also young and talented. Bastards. They'd like to tell you that they've grown up a bit, but they're only twenty so that hasn't happened yet. What they have done is matured. If their debut album was the sound of a bunch of teenagers making a loud psychedelic racket in a garage and having a laugh then Welcome To The North is the sound of their balls dropping. There's more swagger and bravado in here than in the Gallagher household at Christmas. The recipe's still the same as it used to be, just modified, refined and drastically improved. Rock riffs and dancehall beats thrown together to make a psychedelic brew. Like Def Leppard mixed with the Happy Mondays; and somehow I mean that in a good way.


 


Not only have their balls dropped, but Rob Harvey's voice has broken too. In fact it's turned into a whine that's somewhere in between John Lydon and Nikki Six on the scale, if you can imagine such a thing, and it totally dominates this album. I tell you, the majority of us will need the help of some Helium to sing along with this. From the moment the guitar squeals into life on the title track this album just oozes confidence.


 


Unfortunately, as you listen to it, you can't help but think of bands like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Velvet Revolver because it's so inflated with it's own sense of achievement, but thankfully there's just enough bite and more than a few catchy hooks in here to stop it falling into that category completely. Sure, there are far too many drum and guitar solos for comfort, but the whole thing skips along with an attitude and swagger not seen in England since the best days of Madchester. It's like the Rapture with a decent vocalist. Take the song I Need Love for instance, which has a hook and beat as catchy as that of House of Jealous Lovers, but here they're added to a voice that sounds like an extra instrument, rather than a cat caught in a bear trap. It may be 40 odd minutes of baggy cock rock, but it's the biggest sound to come out of Leeds since Pete Townsend and crew played the University and for that we should applaud them.


 


Words : Damian Leslie