Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hats off... Album Review by GigWise

Rated 4.5/5
"an album to lose yourself in, like you would do if you were seeing it being battered out in front of you..."

In the 21st century everything happens just a bit faster than it used to. These days, our Big Mac’s waiting at window three before we’ve even answered the ‘Would you like fries with that?’ question at window one, we ‘snd a txt cos a phone call sems 2 formal, lol,’ and if you don’t get that express delivery by 9am the next day there’s a lawsuit on the cards. Likewise, music cycles now orbit our ear drums faster than ever before. Where as a decade passed before a Kinks inspired Jam, and then a Jam inspired Oasis could break through - now, bands motivated by the turn of the century punk-rock revivalists (The Libertines, The Strokes etc…) are already cropping up two-a-penny. So what makes The View any different?

Well, for starters, in the space of 12 months The View have established a compelling résumé that includes three top 15 singles, as well a frantic live reputation, that’s all garnished with glowing references from amongst others, Primal Scream, Kasabian and, oh yeah – their self-proclaimed ‘father-figure,’ Pete Doherty. In fact, upon reflection, Kyle Falconer, Pete Reilly, Kieren Webster and Steve Morrison - four un-likely looking lads from Dundee - have done so much that the only surprise is the re-realisation that ‘Hats Off To The Buskers’ is in fact their debut album.

While the album harnesses no real surprises for hardcore View fans (that’s all of them then!), who have been spinning the bands 'T-Pot' demos religiously for almost as long as the four-piece have been together, all the tracks have been re-recorded by Owen Morris (Oasis, The Verve). Fear not though View fans, this doesn’t mean they’ve become as polished as an obsessive-compulsive's side-board - far from it. In fact, as the familiar set-starter, ‘Comin’ Down,’ commences, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a live version, as its intrepid prelude contains all the energy of their live spectacle - and then some.

While it’s not unusual these days to find an album that juxtaposes 9-5 miseries and with nocturnal ecstasies, there’s not one that does it with such heart on its sleeve honesty as ‘Hats Off To The Buskers.’ Never has taking life by the scruff sounded so easy, or equally as good as it does in the liberating, relentless optimism of ‘Same Jeans,’ and the wistful, romanticism of ‘Streetlights’ - which is a kick in the backside to “take your life in your own hands, walk down the street/ Look over your shoulder, who will you meet?”

by Jason Gregory, on 18/01/2007


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