On 20th July 2006 at 12:11 Anonymous 3028 wrote...
Great review !!!
Nice to see the reviewer has really listened and taken on board what the band has to offer. Wish all reviews could read like this.
By The Dykeenies
To release this double A side at any other time of the year than sweltering July would have been highly foolish. The summery, almost soaring feel of this debut doesn't quite grab you by the bollocks but has a definite furtive grope in the direction of your nether regions.
The clappy stroppy poppy opening 20 seconds of New Ideas is rather like Black Wire and a little exciting in a 'what do we have here' sense but then confusingly drops into something much more melodic and sweet. It is disappointing and very nearly doesn't work but then the lyrics seem so optimistic and sunny that it is instantly forgivable. It lurches a little towards the chorus which the PR bumph claims will "sit in your memory as comfortably as the alphabet after only the first listen". Not quite. It certainly will after the second but this is due to the chorus and indeed the rest of the song being repetitive and a little lean on new lyrics. Whether The Dykeenies don't believe in wasting perfectly good words or it is simply laziness, it tastes a little like uncertainty and lack of self belief. The title takes on an embarrassing sort of irony as the lead belts out "I've got so many new ideas" with rest of the band yelling in retaliation "Show me all your new ideas!" Well, quite. As the 3 lines you've stuck to so far are starting to bore me a little. And the squeezing of one extra syllable into the bridge highlights a lack of sophistication which it can't really afford. A damn shame as the guitar riffs and the tune in general are really quite good, but just good. That's all. This is by no means a debut that will define a generation but it belongs on Radio 1 and is truly catchy after the second listen. One for your ipod 'Summer' playlist.
The secret to double A sides, particularly a debut double A side is that you've got to pick 2 of your best songs which possess some sort of contrast. They have to say 'This is us. This is our style. D'ya like that? Well look at what else we can do!' Again, sadly, not quite. Will It Happen Tonight is essentially a song about a question everyone can relate to. Will I be getting a shag tonight? So far, so good. But frustratingly this too never quite shuffles past merely, quite good. Intensely frustrating actually as there's something here that suggests this band are capable of really great ass kicking tunes. The synthy beginnings reminiscent of The Bravery again stir up a sense of excitement and nearly newness before once again withdrawing again into the realms of catchy but safe guitar pop. Dammit! Will It Happen tonight at first seems lyrically superior to its predecessor. "These eyes are closing you tonight" feels cheeky and confident but once again falls down into lazy mediocre repetition. Very very disappointing but again serves the purpose of sticking in your head and refusing to budge. Another hummable likeable song for driving in the sunshine but in the days of Morrissey's solo material, Pete Doherty's sometimes beautiful always drug addled poetry and Alex Turner's touching, surprising ASBO anthems this is not sensitive, clever, cheeky, poetic or raucous enough. Great if you love generic but slightly ballsy, guitar pop. Not so great if you like your music to have at least some depth.
The lead singer's voice is pretty good but lurches between accents and pronunciation, often sounds Californian - bizarre as the band hail from Glasgow and doesn't ground the music with a sense of identity. Although credit where credit's due, he does occasionally instil a lovely sense of much needed purity and whimsy in their songs, particularly during the verses of New Ideas. Musically speaking the band are tight and the melodies and riffs which are toe tapping, sometimes worthy of a spot of air guitar and good enough to stand on their own, are sadly let down by a lack of real personality and creativity in the song writing - usually in the chorus.
All in all, The Dykeenies are good band, possibly capable of something great and as they've only been together for 13 months, probably need a bit more time together as a band, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will fulfil their potential. Potential which peeks out through the gaps and sits underneath the songs like an unexploded land mine. I only hope they step on it and blow off their legs and mediocrity before they fade into obscurity - where they don't honestly belong.