By The Needles
Aberdeen's guitar-pop bashers The Needles have finally made it on to a long player, not that at 35 minutes it's that long! They demonstrate all their trademark moves which have been slowly building them a word of mouth following via a couple of well received EPs. Electric shock guitar riffs and keyboards collide with machine gun drums, all just about tied together with some excitable pop melody delivered from Dave Dixon's vocals. Sound wise The Needles fit somewhere between a less pompous Razorlight, a young Elvis Costello, and Weezer playing The Beach Boys. It makes for a wired sound that sets foot tapping levels to auto and even when the pace momentarily drops the muscular-melodies are still well toned pecks of pop. Dianne still stands out as a splendid piece of radio fare with its terrific ascending chorus while Let You Down thunders in at the start of the record with a face punching thump. The Needles do however struggle to find more than 2 settings for their songs. The settings in question are "All out blast" and for the slower option "Sha-la-la-lah surf beat combo". Not in essence a bad thing but one that does expose the weaker songs on offer as the album begins to meander past the halfway point. Up Against The Wall blurs in to 3 more tracks and if you weren't paying attention then there is a definite sense of surprise to find yourself at track 12. New single Summer Girls is neatly summery and Under The City even has a title that sounds like a Razorlight song, but thankfully surpasses in all other comparisons. For those in search of The Needles this is a great introduction but in these days of stupidly high expectations being put on bands debut records, hope must be held for the band being afforded some time to write more songs like Dianne.