Thursday, May 10, 2007

US Album Review

Barely out of high school and earnest as they'll ever be, indie quartet the View have been burning up the U.K. pop charts since being snatched by 1965 (the record label) in 2006. As a result, a trail of hype has since followed the teen Scots (originally from Dryburgh) with every step, only encouraged by the fact that the troupe hangs out with the likes of media-magnet Pete Doherty and manages to get arrested here and there.

Since the View set up shop at the Bayview Pub (also the origin of their name) two years ago, they've received comparisons to similar natural-born hit makers like the Arctic Monkeys and even Oasis. But with inexperienced youth comes misguided exuberance; their debut begins with an energetic hustle of moshpit guitar squeals and self-deprecating lyrics - all in Kyle Falconer's thick R-rolling brogue - like "With the stones you cast so fast/ It makes me think we never last."

The proceeding first half of Hats Off to the Buskers is dashed with astute observations about drug abuse and the plight of the everyman, filtered through the boys' kicking guitar solos and bouncy glam rock. Songs like "Wasted Little DJs" highlight their wishy-washy charm - talking shit on DJs who play the same song 16 times but soon admitting that they don't even really mind - and introduce delightfully foreign, slangy gibberish like "Artedwae ittlae ejaysdae/ They're the cleverest blond we ken." The entire latter half of the album is similarly upbeat, but pales in comparison to the spunky entrance, and soon descends into a barrage of bland Scottish ska and chipper, background-noise love ballads, each blending into the next.

The View do give it their all, and in turn manage to put a together a little somethin'-somethin' that's not altogether shabby. If they can learn to lay off the constant guitar solos and focus on the more beautifully tragic ballads like "Face for Radio" or the bizarre screech of the crazily off-key "Skag Trendy," then I can't say we'd mind them sticking around for a bit.

By Autumn Schuster, 10th May 2007, The Gaurdian, San Diego, USA


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