Monday, 2 February 2009

The View - Which Bitch? (1965 Records 2009)

The View's new album sees them branching out from superior pub band Libertines-alike codecs that dogged their melodic hair-punk-pop a few years ago. A few years after their 'Hats off to the Buskers' containing a stream of catchy hook-laden hits, they're back. They open with a plinky-plonky honky-tonk barnstorming joke-tune of 'Typical Times Two' regaling us with tales of dirty girls and streams of one-night stands. '5 Rebeccas' sounds like how you'd imagine Oasis would be if they came out now with the vigour and energy they possessed in my teens. Strangest though is track 3, 'One Off Pretender' which begins in traditional Britpop retrospective fair before descending into weird arrythmic rapping, lacking any harness of the beat or necessity. It seems so incongruous, you wonder whether the View are trying too hard to not be the catchy hits factory they were a few years ago. The rest of the album picks up and plays down in similar forays into experimentalism. 'Unexpected' and 'Temptation Dice' both sound like vital Smashing Pumpkin numbers and 'Jimmy's Crazy Conspiracy' hits that stream of hitsville punk pop Skins incidental music brilliantly, with an anthemic shouty chorus. The subversive tuba bass is class and shows a winking rail against their roots. There are moments of great subversions to their standard fare and brilliantly catchy moments of true genius but ultimately some of the hints at experimenting with their pallette fall flat and others work. More like the opener, less of the rapping please. Leave that to the experts.

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