Sunday, 15 February 2009

MUSIC: The Bans - 'Take Courage, Marmaduke!'

The third album by the rising Leeds Indie lads begins on an upbeat note with the title track, an ode to the canine star of 'the funny papers' entreating him never to lose hope whatever the odds. "You make Andy Capp look like a dickhead", singer Ed Hanberry softly croons during the chorus, "and Hagar The Horrible has nothing on you. Who would've thought a dog could be so human?" They show us again that it is not for nothing that comparisons are made with Boston supergroup 'My Face Is A Dartboard, You Know?' and 70s legends 'The Reverend Steve Extravaganza'.

The band firmly hits their stride with later songs such as 'My Cavewoman' and 'See You Next Tuesday', raucous danceable pop-rock akin to songs on their previous LPs 'Citizen You' and 'Retro Pretensions'. Fans of The Bans will find they're venturing into familar terrain for much of the record, in particular, 'Tight Jeans' with its yelped chorus "Tight jeans, rush of blood to the head, tight jeans and I think I'm passing out". The track is sure to appeal to anyone that has ever been to art-school and owned a pair of winklepickers.

It is the collaborations with other artists however that set the album apart, for instance the Electro-tinged cover of Eurythmics' "Who's That Girl?" featuring Grime kids Actual P and Fire Man from Stratford's Dumber Crew. The results are energetic, frenetic, and sure to set student union dancefloors alight this summer. Another track of note is 'You Are All My Tomorrows, At The Moment' featuring Rebecca, a new Soul singer who follows in the hot trend of sounding a bit like Amy Winehouse and only having one name.

All in all, established followers of The Bans will find 'Take Courage, Marmaduke!' a comfortable, familiar, safe place in which to sway slowly from side to side and occasionally brush their lank fringes from their eyes. Others will find it an excellent introduction to the group and their sound.

No comments:

Post a Comment