By Ocean Colour Scene
There was a time once when Ocean Colour Scene were nigh-on one of the biggest bands in the country. What were we thinking? Every week we would gather round and watch TFI Friday (and whisper, conspiratorially, "did you know that it stands for 'Thank Fuck It's Friday'" giggle, giggle). As guests entered the show 'The Riverboat Song' would be blasted out. Air guitars would be played. What were we thinking indeed.
It's cheeky that OCS can even consider putting the word 'hyperactive' anywhere near this album. It's thirteen tracks of tedium. This is the sound of a band who permanently sounded middle-aged actually becoming middle-aged. Who says that euthanasia is a bad thing? If you wanted to create your 'average' rock album this is it. It's has irritating "woah wooaahhs" all over, exceedingly tired riffs stolen from The Jam, nasty twiddled lead lines that exist for no other reason than because the band don't know what to do but play them.
It's been nine years since Moseley Shoals became one of the albums of 1996, and Ocean Colour Scene seem to have learnt nothing since then. Nothing has changed, nothing has developed. Essentially, this is Moseley Shoals, but with less songs, less ideas and an even greater need to be predictable.
Particular highlights are 'I Love You' (get this, the chorus goes "I love yoooouuu, I love yooooooouuuuu", genius) where Simon Fowler can't even be arsed to find a key to sing in. More evidence of their lack of creativity comes in 'Waving Not Drowning' (guess how the chorus goes). That idea might be clever, had it not been concocted by poet Stevie Smiths about thirty years ago.
'This Day Should Last Forever' also deserves a special mention for the horrible way in which they've tried to shove a mandolin and harmonium into a dire trough of a song in the hope it might make it sound Irish. It doesn't. It just makes it sound shit. On 'Move Things Over' they soak everything is reverb. Does our song sound dull in this they ask? Yes it does, we say. The last track even has a bit of a reggae-ish feel. I beg you, never, ever listen to that song. You will regret it.
There really is nothing left to say. This sounds like an Ocean Colour Scene album. We all know what OCS sounds like, and a lot of us would probably like to forget. The less said, the better. One final complaint however. Upon the front of this CD is a sticker. It bears the legend "fantastic... their best album since Moseley Shoals", but fails to credit anyone for saying it. Who's betting it's one of the band's wives?