RAZORLIGHT- Razorlight

Jesus Christ, Johnny Borrell is a gobshite. But wait, take a breath, don't base your opinion of Razorlight's music on the delusional, self-obsessed ramblings of their lanky, smug frontman. Oh, alright go on then.

There are ten tracks here sure to appeal to the obedient indie masses but for everybody else the appeal of Razorlight will remain a mystery. 'In The Morning' has a chorus hook that's as welcome as 'flu but unfortunately just as catchy, next single 'America' does a mediocre musical impression of U2 at their most musically mediocre and there might even be a flash of a decent melody in 'Los Angeles Waltz' but that's really stretching. Everywhere else it's half-arsed guitar strum, spineless drive-time drang and sixth-form-poetry style rhyming couplets ahoy. This is dreary middle-of-the-road pub-rock that panders to every evil vice the radio demands. Horrible.


SUCIOPERRO- Random Acts Of Intimacy

Chemistry. One of those classes at school where the teachers always smelled funny but something essential to the making of a great band. Scottish quartet Sucioperro have chemistry. By the bucket load. After listening to 'Random Acts Of Intimacy' it wouldn't be a surprise to learn that they had regular group hugs or something like that. From first note to last here Sucioperro sound terribly together.

But don't get too comfortable. Impatience and audacity and talent butt serious heads throughout Random Acts.... It's not down to immaturity, but the knowledge that a little twist and a few turns make for a thrilling ride. All of which means while 'Wolf Carnival' and 'Dialog On The 2' twitch and fidget like Biffy Clyro or Minus The Bear, 'I Don't Hate...' and 'Tem V Com' are rock and roll belters. Then 'Grace And Out Of Me' does both, meandering down a gentle mathy road before exploding like prime Rage Against The Machine. It's the sort of songwriting skill that regularly leaves you wondering what the hell just happened, how the hell the band got away with and why the hell you so badly want to hear it again.

It might be too heavy for Franz fans, too fey for the hardcore fraternity, even too polite to turn top industry heads but that's their loss. Experimentation, drama, power, dexterity and that chemistry stuff abounds. On this evidence Sucioperro need just a touch more fire and maybe one more album to go over the edge into Muse-like realms of quality. That or medical help.

Also appears at RockMidgets.


KOUFAX- Hard Times Are In Fashion

Hard times may be in fashion but quirky spiky indie isn’t doing too bad for itself either. On this, their fourth release, Koufax harness the sort of new-wave pop prowess that has driven Hot Hot Heat and The Killers to the big time. They have the American accents, the skinny-legged style and even some talent; they can do smirking balladry and dancefloor rock with equal aplomb. There’s a piano in there too, but this is no Keane type thing, the tinkling actually adds a different accent to the usual lip-pouting hip-shaking mixture.

The ivories aren’t the only thing marking Koufax out from the pack either. The way ‘Five Years Of Madness’ puts the pedal to the metal will turn heads, the haunting, queasy drama of ‘Stephen James’ will turn them back again and is that a country twang hidden under lead single ‘Isabelle’. That there’s some meaty social and political comment bubbling away (and occasionally boiling over on ‘Blind Faith’) under such charming dark pop only makes it better. However while there’s familiar comfort in the Bloc Party bop of ‘Her Laughter’ or the Strokes style slacker banter of ‘Get Us Sober’ the songs here rarely take on a life of their own. And so it goes that after all that good stuff, there’s nothing to seal the deal.

Koufax probably throw some killer parties and god knows ‘Hard Times…’ would make decent background music to the next shindig at yours, but, with a noticeable lack of hit single material, the band need still more time to crack superstardom. It will come though, it will.

Also appears at Rock Midgets.