By Stereo 360
I am in two minds with this CD - half of me quite likes it...no let me re-phrase that, half of me doesn't mind it! The other half of me has heard it all before and would be fairly non-committal in recommending it to anyone else.
I am to begin with a little unsure why I am reviewing a band who are based in the US and have about as many Leeds connections as... something that doesn't have any!! Still I have been sent this CD and therefore I will review it.
The sparkling production and the quality of the musicianship and songwriting is hard to ignore. The general song composition sounds to me as if it has been firmly produced in the hands of an expert and all the tricks you've heard before but can't put your finger on are there. And here lies the problem - as good as this is, it lacks any real soul - kind of like Matchbox 20 (shudder) does pop punk. These tracks would probably just miss Radio 1's play list but sit more than comfortably on Virgin. The songs are all catchy upbeat and when played in the background have a nice vibe. But would I play this over and over and shout it out from the rooftops? Probably not, because it means very little to me. Would I dance to it with my bottle of alchopop at the indie disco? Yup! So is this not the nature of throwaway pop I hear you ask? And the answer is yes.
Opener Vaseline mouth is good so is track 2, track 3 and track 4 - all good, formulaic stuff. In fairness track 4 - Superstar with its repetitive verses does the most to break the mould and is really the only one I can hum after 8 plays.
I don't doubt Stereo 360 have a potentially huge audience in the states and indeed here. But they are a too polished for a Blink 182 and to raw for a Ryan Adams (choke) and sitting uncomfortably in between may well be their downfall.