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House of Commons by White Light Parade

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Reviewed on 15th May 2009.

 
 

House of Commons

By White Light Parade

Bradford's White Light Parade have got some decent tunes in their armory, of that there's little doubt. Anyone who's been caught up in the moshpit during the wage slave's good-time manifesto that is 'Wait for the Weekend' will have had that fact drilled into their skulls. No - the only gripe with this long player is its slight patchiness. In gigging terms, this is a band that considerately give you as many chances to sneak off for a crafty Woodbine as they do opportunities to get booted in the cranium by an uncoordinated lummox down in the front row.

For reasons best known to the band, last year's breakout single 'Turning All The Lights Down' is missing from the track listing, and some of the newer material doesn't quite measure up to that early promise. For all the claims that the album constitutes a coherent broadside on the establishment, lines like "There's nothing to do in the city / When you're young / I've gotta get out of the city / Like everyone" start to make you wonder whether the Pigeon Detectives didn't get it right in sticking to tawdry tales of fornication, given that Gordon Brown's unlikely to pop any of this stuff on his iPod any time soon.

The unabashed lad rock of the Yates brothers' guitar riffs, coupled to the relentless beat provided by stickswoman Nici Todd and chunky bass runs of Tom Emmett, actually works better when the focus is on the music. That's not to say that a stomper like 'Riot In The City' hasn't got a point to make about social decay, but it makes a much more compelling one about sharp-edged white boy punk funk. There's an element of the Dead 60s or even the Clash at play here.

Elsewhere the tunes are a bit more straight up and down. This does mean that they scale the full spectrum, from the anthemic simplicity of 'Wake Up' or the aforementioned 'Wait for the Weekend,' down to shouty filler such as the (appropriately titled) 'Humdrum' or (less so) 'We Start Fires.' But whilst these guys might lack the articulacy of Weller, or even Tom Clarke for that matter, they make up for it with some decent licks. They might not make it into the PM's music library, but there are four or five tracks here that you really should be ripping into yours.

 

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