Armed with sizzling pop-rock shots like Rock & Roll Queen, Billy Lunn, Charlotte Cooper and Josh Morgan were the perennial Peter Pans of the mid-00s NME scene – young, cool and good. As teenagers they played Glastonbury’s Other Stage, critics and fans rejoiced… and then not much.
While their first three records were overseen by top-end producers, this was produced, mixed and engineered by frontman Lunn. As production values here testify, a decade in the business has honed his technical prowess. It’s just that it should have also honed the actual tunes.
Opening on a total non-event of a hook, The Subways initially made us want to cry in its innocuousness, wondering where the hell their once-glorious potential went.
There is decent fodder here. Gauzy harmonies from Cooper elevate the above opener, edges of later Supergrass perk up Dirty Muddy Paws, and the lyrical sweetness in the likes of Taking All The Blame works to endearing effect. Good in places, then – but it should be better./o:p