Do you remember this band? It’s that female fronted U.K. band that released an EP out of the blue on Fat Wreck last year, produced by Bill Stevenson. It got quite a few bad reviews, but I really dug those seven songs. Meanwhile, the band toured the U.S., played with bands like Rancid, Yellowcard, Sugarcult and New Found Glory to name a few, were one of the “30 bands you need to know” according to Kerrang!, were in studio with Neal Avron (Everclear, New Found Glory, SR-71 and Yellowcard) to record these fourteen songs, and signed a deal with upcoming label Repossession Records. Quite some achievement for kids who are only aged between 17 and 19.
Three songs from the EP were actually re-recorded for this album. Both “Forgotten Generation” and “Revolution Calling” kept its initial sound and speed with only the edges that have been cut out, while the metronome for the previously Clash-ragga sounding “Stage School Kidz” got speeded up which transformed the song into a more eager (and at the same time great) poppy tune. I can’t say the pro production did their music harm, although I’m convinced you moaners will have something negative to say about a band that sounds poppy-clean. To be honest, I wouldn’t really pigeon-hole this with the catchy pop-punk, but I can’t really categorize them with the bands they claim to get their influence from (The Clash, Generation X and The Buzzcocks) either… they just sound too straightforward and unfilthy for it. It has to be said that this girl Kate’s voice is as tremendous as her looks, even the slower “No More Legend” shows she’s got quite some breath in those lungs. I still find it quite annoying though that she has to end her words with that weird “eh” (f.e. “back” = “back-eh”).
In my humble opinion there’s at least three songs on this album that have the ability to warp this band to higher levels: the beforementioned “Stage Cool Kidz,” “Karaoke Kid” which has an instant snatchable chorus that will have you tapping along instantly and which has quite a few interesting key-changes, and the more melodic “Housewreck” which has a terrific riffy guitar in the chorus, although I suppose it’s all up to their management to decide and they’ll probably choose the cleaner songs like “No More Legend” or “Don’t Tell Me” which are somewhat more radio-accessible. Two constants all through the disc are the easy to sing along chorus and, on a less positive note, quite juvenile lyrics. But hey, wisdom comes with the age (hmmm!?!). Anyway, their angriness towards the world and discontent to people who dislike them sounds a bit artificial with those cheap-worded threats.
If you like catchy, well-produced, accessible dirty music with a slight spark of older-styled U.K. punk rock and you like girls on the mic you can’t really go wrong with this one. I’m sure the die-hards will again find it hard to admit that this is a strong release, but I’m sure the kids will swallow this like little biscuits. I’m no die-hard and I’m no kid but I just love everything that sounds well to my ears. And I if tell you that this is the album that during my holidays got the most spins, you can bet that there’s a lot of others who will buy it. Tsunami Bomb might sound less artificial and their last album sounds definitely more mature than this one, but odds are that this band could top their sales with quite a margin thanks to the more mindsticking choruses. We’ll see what happens...