8/10 Clinton Staff review, 25 May 2012
It could be my age but I despair of the constant use of the word 'awesome'. They all use it here at Norman Towers - the young lads. Anyway let's see if there is anything awesome about this much heralded debut. I've read tonnes about this band in every publication from 'Metro' to 'Horse and Hound Monthly', and all pretty much in the last week.
The initial impression is why?...Sorry, the initial impression is Why? The opening tune 'Intro' (!) has the stuttery beats and the nasal vocals of Yoni Wolf's collective. The second track is acapella - those crazy guys. It takes a little while for something to get really under my craw - it's all a bit clever-clever backpack navel-gazing until 'Breezeblocks', which marries the lyrical oddities to a tune that it's almost possible to hum in the shower and the cut up hip hop influenced beats are joined by a fabulous vocal tag that sounds like a Beach Boys made out of Doseone, the guy from Cypress Hill and the TV on the Radio one.
I'm a little frustrated by the stop start nature of the compositions - they just get going, then they stop, then they start going, then they stop. 'Something Good' is a neat little tune that recalls the Wild Beasts with its arpeggio pianos and layered harmonies, the same influence pops up on 'Dissolve Me' which has the nice reverbed guitars and at last has a really, really infectious tune to go with the clever song structures.
Although irritating me with their brains, nerdiness and inability to let a song follow its natural course, there are several stellar moments on this when they start playing and stop faffing. And it is the general air of innovation and restlessness that suggests that for once the kind of hype its been receiving could well be justified. When they gain XX-like crossover success I can sit back smugly and say I (nearly) told you so.
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