Monday, August 13, 2007

Album Review by Music-Critic, Canada

Within the city of Dundee lies the district of Dryburgh, home to Kyle Falconer, Kieren Webster, Peter Reilly, and Steven Morrison of The View – a Scottish indie rock band who have released their debut album, Hats Off to the Buskers. From acknowledging the limitations of their hometown, to drunken nights out and romance, Hats Off chiefly deals with life in Dundee. And while the lyrical content offers little surprise from this relatively young, high-energy band, it certainly does not detract from their overall musical appeal.

The great thing about their blatant youthfulness is that the album does not drag at all. From their declaration of averting those who tried to stop their dreams in ‘Comin’ Down’ to the closing sea shanty ‘Typical Time,’ the listener is rewarded with the delights of engaging rhythms, a nearly live sound, and unsuspecting time changes; the latter being best demonstrated in their third single, ‘Same Jeans.’

‘Skag Trendy’ possesses such a catchy riff that, coupled with Webster’s distinct Dundonian accent, makes it difficult to recognise the strong bit of social commentary on addiction and homelessness in the lyrics, though the comparisons to the Libertines are probably best highlighted here in this tale of “a young man looking for some variation” dealing with the resulting “complete and utter social deterioration.” Their only acoustic song, ‘Face for the Radio,’ gives the audience a break from the raw fast pace of the album. It also does well to show off Falconer’s vocals while proving that the View can step up to broaden their depth in the future.

All things said and done, Hats Off to the Buskers is bristling with exuberance and addictive choruses. After being short-listed for the 2007 Nationwide Mercury Prize, the View have successfully shown what their local fan base has been chanting for quite some time - “the View are on fire.”

by Shanelle Nicholls, Music Critic, Canada


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