This is a review of "User Friendly" recorded by Mariko. The review was written by Andy Shearing in 2000.
I listened to this CD on the strength of a recent storming gig at The Rocket where I was impressed by the combination of the vocalist's swagger and the low slung guitars, two definitely admirable qualities. "User Friendly", the lead track begins deceptively enough with an acoustic guitar and piano combination sounding not unlike The Charlatans followed by Paul's mellow vocals. On the stroke of 30 seconds however, the band kick in to show their true colours. "Do you like me like I use you?" sung in the chorus demonstrating the song's true meaning. An impressive opener.
The second track, "Elvis Loves Us" is a glam rock stomp, all big riffs and chanty choruses making it perhaps the gem of the bunch. An obvious crowd favourite, it seems a little odd that this is not the lead track. "End of the Week", the final song, begins with some impressive interplay between guitarists John and Dan before setting off into becoming another classic. It has to be said that certain parts of this track remind me of early Garbage. "By the end of the week, I didn't know where to sleep" is chanted in the now obligatory memorable chorus, and it's certainly pleasing to hear a song stop dead on the word "bitch". A very impressive CD.