Thursday, March 22, 2007

Playlouder Album Review

Every now and then a guitar band comes along that steps out of the morass of a million struggling dreamers. They walk the walk they talk the talk and have the songs and the talent to back it up. And they come from Dundee. Which is cool.

Apart from jam, some dusty old kids comics and two under-achieving football teams not much has ever come out of Dundee. That's what makes The View so cool. They are not the sound of big bold confident cities, they are the true sound of Britain, the bored kids on the endless estates and schemes that make up the real face of the UK, a million miles away from city centre cool, New Labour Islington or the hipster hangouts of London. They come from Dryburgh, the run down Dundee suburb that they celebrate in song, the real Britain that a million kids will instantly recognise.

It's a neat trick, and the one that's served the Artic Monkeys so well, narrating life those faraway towns that wankers call 'provincial' like there is still some kind of empire, forgetting that these places have always been the powerhouse of British music.

Another clue to where this is all coming from is the semi-legendary story of The View giving a demo tape to Pete Doherty on the night Babyshambles played Dundee. Doherty instantly gave them the support that night and whole of the following British tour in a cool act of inter band generosity that is a long way away from the boring tabloid image of the man. Mind you, he did introduce them to the tabloid infamy when drummer Steve got arrested with the itinerant Doherty driving down a one-way street in Birmingham.

Also driving down a one-way street in rock & roll, The View are hardy traditionalists. However their scuffed denim, battered guitar take on the great Gallagher's Oasis is superb, simply because they know how to put a top sounding tune together.

'Superstar Tradesman' or 'The Don' are great wonky gutter guitar street anthems that make you grin with the sheer effortless joy of trad rock & roll. They have that same good time swagger and cheeky leer that made early Oasis so attractive, but what's more they have the knack for a top tune that Noel Gallagher still has (controversial, I know but then I believe that Oasis are in the weird position of being the most underrated band in the country).

Traditionalists to the man, The View are a study of all the essentials of British rock & roll. This could well be a recipe the kind of music that PlayLouder hates with a vitriolic vengeance, but The View transcend this and prove that a keen melodic touch and a wild spirit is as important in great music as being able to reinvent the wheel.

No matter what the squabble sand arguments are over the ha ha ha 'future of rock' The View will just get on with it. Front-man Kyle Falconer has the charisma and the rolling 'r' righteousness in his vocals that will soundtrack a whole mass of Brit youth for the next few years as the band move quickly up the greasy pole of rock & roll and become one of the bands of the year. Perhaps even the generation defining zeitgeist band.

JOHN ROBB, Playlouder, January 2007


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