Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Which Bitch? review

Rambling and hotch-potch, the sophomore album from Scottish louts The View could have been disastrous. But somehow the eclectic, adventurous, almost nonsensical collection of sounds comes together to create a delightfully messy sonic clash.

Opening with the harmonica-led riverboat ditty Typical Time 2, frontman Kyle Falconer's thick Dundee accent sounds strangely Jamaican as he croons to the simple piano refrain, making for one of the oddest, yet bizarrely appealing, tracks likely to surface this year.

Their first album may have seen them nominated for the Mercury Prize, but the boys aren't afraid to take chances and turn away from their original sound, experimenting with trumpets, recorders, organs and even ping-pong ball percussion (Double Yellow Lines).

Not that they have abandoned their signature sound completely. There are still plenty of searing indie rock tracks, complete with drunken, feisty singalongs that defy you not to smile.

But the orchestral arrangements of Oli Krauss bring an unexpected new depth to the band, similar to that heard on The Last Shadow Puppets' debut last year. Not that The View are anywhere near as serious as the Puppets. Superb though it is, the orchestral swoop of Distant Dubloon still accompanies a song about pirates.

Which is only fitting from these rogue musical cavaliers.

By Joanna Hunkin, New Zealand Herald, 5th March 2009


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