The Adored - A New Language (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Adored

A New Language (2006)


That damn Pete Shelley collaboration just made me more skeptical about the Adored. Who is this band? They seemed to pop out of nowhere with a fairly plum record deal and pulled off a Buzzcocks collaboration on their first release. Bands that dutifully ape the Manchester legends record after record don't even get that. Vocalist Ryan George previously sang for straight-edge hardcore act Carry On, which is so alien to this sound that the fact does more to confuse matters than provide any sort of grounding. The `ol bullshit detector's been working overtime trying to figure these guys out, but in the end I can't help it -- regardless of origins, motives or angles I just love this record.

A New Language is quite possibly the most catchy yet easy to swallow mainstream pop-punk record I've heard in years. This holds a really fascinating position, as it's completely divorced from any number of scenes that would hold it back. This is certainly not an underground release yet I can draw no lines between the Adored and the current crop of popular mall punk. This is too smart. It's too adult. There are definite `70s influences at play here, everything from the Buzzcocks and Elvis Costello to some Mick Jones Clash (through a sunny Californian filter), yet this is decidedly not a revival act. There's an element of fashion for sure, but nowhere near the level that the post-punk "rock revival" bands strove for. The Adored are somehow free of all that. More importantly they're delivering on the promise of that early Lashes EP, positioned to achieve a level of success that the similarly influenced Briefs will forever be robbed of.

This recording's remarkably polished, and while it fits the band's style they certainly take advantage of the studio. The group-sung choruses sound as full as possible on tracks like "Savage Youth" and "We Don't Want You Around." The band avoids much of the more criminal tweaking that poppy acts are subjected to (just barely) and to their credit the songs certainly don't need it. The playful vocal interplay is what makes this special. It's something the Adored clearly dwelled on in the studio and the results are tight and well executed on songs like "The Queen's Head" and "Hold-Up." "Weak Spots" is Singles Going Steady material if I've ever heard it. "Not Having It" could have lightened the mood a bit on All Mod Cons. The Adored simply have a knack for constructing cohesive, moving songs. The chorus to the title track in particular gives me chills. Between angular verses the Futureheads would die for and a backing of "whoa"s, Ryan draws out every syllable from "I'm too impatient to master a new language" and I'm completely enthralled in the melody.

If A New Language stumbles it's due to an hour running time. That's a bad idea for most bands, in particular those playing explosive little pop nuggets. A New Language is such an enjoyable listen though that that's hardly a knock against it. This deserves every bit of success it achieves.