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Reviewed on 1st April 2002.



By Five Years Later

It's difficult to know what to say about this music. Ever start telling someone a joke and forget the punch line halfway through? That's a bit what listening to Five Years Later is like. Mildly expectant but ultimately forgettable. They're a bit band-by-numbers: "Ooh, let's have flange on the drums to be experimental. And we ought to put the ballad on third. And should we have a big finish at the end of the CD with a long outro and lots of overdriven guitars and drum solos? It'll be really epic!"

That's a bit of a harsh judgement when FYL have got some good bits. Seems that they've taken trouble with their lyrics, and there's even a sly dig at the king of the indie lyric himself: "No revelation in being the one, thought it would be like a Morrissey song". I don't know how far disrespecting Mozzer would get an indie band though - they might get gladioli'd off in some cities. Maybe that's just me being old fashioned.

FYL have got four very different songs on this CD, of which 'Little More Than Lifesize' is my favourite. There's nothing dazzlingly original about it, but it is brightly poppy in a Monkees style, although it tends towards being gratingly twee. They demonstrate an ability to play well in different styles (Madchester influenced grooves, pop and ballads), but it always comes across like they're trying to appeal as widely across the market as possible at the expense of having a distinct personality.

This is most evident on 'Drawing Circles', which has an intro seemingly several days long and an Embrace style anthemic chorus. Luckily for FYL though, their singer doesn't sound like a tone-deaf primary school child. This is the song with the massively long outro - there was another famous band who had big instrumental endings - The Stone Roses they were called. I suspect FYL of being familiar with their work.

All the same, FYL can play, and this is a nice Cdep with a pretty picture on the front. My apologies to FYL that inoffensive music just happens to be my least favourite kind.



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