Sunday, 22 July 2012

Review: The View - Cheeky For a Reason

 When I look back at the regret-laden days of my first year of high school in Dundee in 2006, one of the biggest memories regarding music came from the mass outbreak of buzzing excitement and delirium that in the world where the charts where being dominated by "rock" (disposable indie) bands, a band from the City of Discovery had actually gone and made their mark. That band was The View and the amount of love sent towards them serves as another burning reminder of why that year was filled with regret. I was surprised enough that they band hadn't yet split up following the release of 2009's Which Bitch? but the fact that they've actually reached their fourth album is near astounding. What's more astounding is that their latest effort Cheeky For a Reason actually comes off with some merit.

 Well, when I say "some" I really do mean "some". "A wee bit". "A sprinkling of merit" if you will. Being the sucker for a decent selection of hooks and strong melodies, I can't simply overlook the likes of Anfield Row, Bullet and the foot stomping Hole In the Bed. Tracks like these come with the kind of freshness and soulful grace that you could never imagine coming from Dundee. And at the same time, an undeniable layering of charm can be found in AB (We Need Treatment) and the loving Tacky Tattoo where some level of immersion can be found in the performance of Kyle Falconer, whose voice has undeniably matured since the band first came to prominence with Hats Off to the Buskers.

 But, when the band try and use these factors as a substitute for any actual decent songwriting, there's little merit to be found elsewhere. The repetitiveness of lead single How Long manages to be more annoying than anything else, while the band's attempts to create some solid riffs and melodies on The Clock and Sour Little Sweetie simply falls flat.

 To boost upon that, the actual impact that the songs provide are little to none. It say's a lot when the track that provides the most emotional impact manages to invoke a simultaneously jolly feeling while also managing to covey tones of desolation and loss through it's shadow-like echoes, implying a desire for long-gone nostalgia and good times that changes in life take away. And that track is an eleven second song known as Piano Interlude, probably the album's best track.

 So, with the band's near instant rise to popularity being a memory from my treacherous early days of high school, I am going to try anything to make sure I hate The View. But, the truth is Cheeky For a Reason has some fairly decent moments boosted through strong melodies. But it only lasts so long and the lack of overall energy and impact, there's little reason to hold onto this album. Though it's probably the band's best album so far, The View ultimately serve as a notable fact that nothing good has really come from Dryburgh.

The View's Cheeky for a Reason is out now via Cooking Vinyl. The band will play at Kendal Calling Festival at Lowther Castle & Gardens from 27th-29th July, Y Not Festival in Matlock from 3rd-5th August, Reading & Leeds Festival from 24th-25th August and will tour the UK from August-September.

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