Wednesday, May 02, 2007

US Album Review

For some people, some things never get old. Personally, I never get tired of bands that channel the woozy rawk of the early Stones, Stooges, Libertines or Exploding Hearts. The Scottish band The View are of this lineage. They play an unbelievably derivative (but undeniably great) style of rock, replete with big guitars and even bigger hooks. Their debut album, Hats Off to the Buskers, is a smart, snappy slice of Brit-rock, ensuring that the music Pete Doherty should be making gets made.

Of course, the band's drummer, Steve, has already gotten arrested once with Doherty; they were speeding (the wrong way) down a one way street in Birmingham. (Sidenote: Do the British police even bother to follow Doherty around anymore? At this point, they should just arrest the dude weekly. It would save time, manpower and indirectly ruin the NME - all good things.) But considering that Doherty was instrumental in the band's rise in the UK--he was apparently blown away by their first EP--at least the supposed prophet of rock has passed the torch to some solid blokes.

With swagger to spare, Hats Off has bravado and charm in abundance. On the album's opener, "Comin' Down," the band plays a demonic little blues shuffle that kicks everything into high gear. It's a fun rave-up that plays to all the bands strengths: catchy vocals and dirty riffs. The rest of the album doesn't deviate from that formula, and why should it? "Superstar Tradesmen," "Wasted Little DJs" and "Same Jeans" are enough to convince me experimental indie-rock is for losers and losers with glasses (like me). As their myspace humbly proclaims, "The View have arrived just in time to give us back true rock & roll spirit with a basis in great songwriting." I'm not sure if I'd go that far, but Hats Off is certainly worth a listen when it drops on May 8.

By Pete Farrell, Minneapolis Fucking Rocks, 2nd May 2007


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