an album to lose yourself in, like you would do if you were seeing it being battered out in front of you...
Jason Gregory

13:58 18th January 2007

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In the 21st century everything happens just a bit faster than it used to. These days, our Big Mac’s waiting at window three before we’ve even answered the ‘Would you like fries with that?’ question at window one, we ‘snd a txt cos a phone call sems 2 formal, lol,’ and if you don’t get that express delivery by 9am the next day there’s a lawsuit on the cards. Likewise, music cycles now orbit our ear drums faster than ever before. Where as a decade passed before a Kinks inspired Jam, and then a Jam inspired Oasis could break through - now, bands motivated by the turn of the century punk-rock revivalists (The Libertines, The Strokes etc…) are already cropping up two-a-penny. So what makes The View any different?   

Well, for starters, in the space of 12 months The View have established a compelling résumé that includes three top 15 singles, as well a frantic live reputation, that’s all garnished with glowing references from amongst others, Primal Scream, Kasabian and, oh yeah – their self-proclaimed ‘father-figure,’ Pete Doherty. In fact, upon reflection, Kyle Falconer, Pete Reilly, Kieren Webster and Steve Morrison - four un-likely looking lads from Dundee - have done so much that the only surprise is the re-realisation that ‘Hats Off To The Buskers’ is in fact their debut album.

While the album harnesses no real surprises for hardcore View fans (that’s all of them then!), who have been spinning the bands 'T-Pot' demos religiously for almost as long as the four-piece have been together, all the tracks have been re-recorded by Owen Morris (Oasis, The Verve). Fear not though View fans, this doesn’t mean they’ve become as polished as an obsessive-compulsive's side-board - far from it. In fact, as the familiar set-starter, ‘Comin’ Down,’ commences, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a live version, as its intrepid prelude contains all the energy of their live spectacle - and then some. 

While it’s not unusual these days to find an album that juxtaposes 9-5 miseries and with nocturnal ecstasies, there’s not one that does it with such heart on its sleeve honesty as ‘Hats Off To The Buskers.’ Never has taking life by the scruff sounded so easy, or equally as good as it does in the liberating, relentless optimism of ‘Same Jeans,’ and the wistful, romanticism of ‘Streetlights’ - which is a kick in the backside to “take your life in your own hands, walk down the street/ Look over your shoulder, who will you meet?”

It’s easy to understand therefore how The View have encapsulated the hearts of a disorientated generation with their sanguine ‘indieness,’ that’s as infectious as radiation, but there are equally as many tracks conveying the problems and pressures of growing up as there are positive moments. From the sad depths of drug addiction in ‘Skag Trendy,’ where bassist, Webster’s patriotic vocals sound as impassioned as the frantic, upbeat tempo the song is thrashed out at, to the poignant dilemmas of teenage romance in, ‘Claudia,’ which is about laying everything on the line, only to have it callously revoked – ouch!

Let’s not dwell on all of life’s downsides however, and put them to one side for a moment – enter, ‘Wasted Little DJ’s’. It’s the Views, ‘What A Waster,’ and the scenesters manifesto, combining the spirit of The Libertines with a riff modified from Cult’s, ‘She Sells Sanctuary.’ You know - the one that already leaves us “out of our little fucking heads,” come closing time. Just in case your still standing however, the infectious dance floor bump of, ‘Dance Into The Night,’ and the anti-booze campaigners nightmare, ‘Don’t Tell Me,’ where Falconer boozes, “I don’t intend to stop my drinking/ I know I should and it’s clever thinking,” will now join, ‘Superstar Tradesman,’ in every Indie DJ’s record box for 2007.          

Although ‘Hat’s Off To The Busker Man’ might not be the most technically perfect album, The View aren’t the most technically proficient band. Instead, it’s an album to lose yourself in, like you would do if you were seeing it being battered out in front of you. And in reality, who knows? You probably are - or at least, you soon will be.

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