After twelve years in and out of the music eye, The Bluetones are obviously still planning on sticking around, although have perhaps started to run out of naming ideas with their naughtily lazy eponymous self titled album. Still the best of them have done it, and this seems a good omen for the resulting confident album that will not fail to disappoint Bluetones fans.
The first single to be taken from the album 'My Neighbourâ€™s House' is without doubt one of the high points of the album. Its good clean rock & roll fun with an annoyingly catchy vocal which we challenge you to listen to without adding your own probably less melodic harmonies to - itâ€™s like sucking a fruit pastel, impossible to do and something you may just as well not fight against. The lyrics to the track mask a darker edge to the band and a deeper level to the song.
Showing theyâ€™re no one trick pony, the albums 'Fade In/Fade Out' is a notably beautiful addition, with a gorgeous steel stringed guitar/double bass part that sets off the songs story of struggle perfectly. So when we learn the track in question has been written for David Williams to support his cross channel swim, we canâ€™t help but be disappointed that all the water talk isnâ€™t infact a metaphor, but meant quite literally (â€œwave upon wave breaking into your face, but it wonâ€™t drive you backâ€) â€“ somewhat cheesy, but still a noteworthy good track. And as with all the tracks on the album, good or bad, Mark Morrissâ€™s vocals rolls over the band with his distinctive voice that really gets under your skin with its acid spiked sweetness.
'Hope And A Jump' is a notable low point to the album â€“ the track beginning uncannily like its going to develop into 'Stonehenge' by Spinal Tap, which is never a good thing unless you have the undersized paper mache props and tight enough trousers to back it up, and we're doubting theyâ€™re planning on coming up with the goods. Similarly 'The Last Song But One 'is an obvious filler track with lazy lyrics and equally lazy sounding vocals which existence wouldnâ€™t be missed from the album.
'Head On A Spike' is one of the few points that Bluetones deter from their normal style, and as much as its actually a real asset to the album with itâ€™s jaunty edges and vivid lyrics, its hard not to imagine Panic! at the Disco doing a punk/pop cover, most probably badly. Its not just this unpleasant visual which is the problem though, the track somehow just doesnâ€™t suit the band; it should either have been a brave attempt at something new and really been gone for, or left discarded with the other songs that didnâ€™t make the cut.
The album as a whole however has the simplistic, quirky Britpop sound of Bluetones that people will continue falling under the spell of. If you agree with the Artic Monkeys mode of thinking that bands are using too many tricks these days, then The Bluetones is a safe addition to your collection. They havenâ€™t deterred from the recognizable from a million paces style that have kept them producing excellent songs for the last decade that instantly feel familiar.
Their myspace title â€œwith a little charm and a lot of styleâ€ couldnâ€™t sum up this album any better.