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Scouting For Girls - Scouting For Girls

Scouting For Girls

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

A SENSE of humour goes a very long way in any walk of life. And so it is for Scouting For Girls, whose upbeat blend of guitar pop and cheeky lyrics compensate for the slightly one-note sound.

Having come together while still at school, the band – aka chief scout Roy Stride, assistant patrol leader Greg Churchouse and quatermaster Peter Ellard – shot to fame off the back of their limited edition EP It’s Not About You in June.

That song was rammed full of infectious vocal melodies, uplifting harmonies and a vibrancy reserved for all the best summertime anthems. It swept people off their feet and deservedly so.

The follow-up She’s So Lovely repeated the trick by embracing the same formula. It positively radiated warmth in a summer that was curiously short on sunshine days.

But as enriching as such songs are, the album could do with a little diversity. Almost every song follows the same format and it can be difficult to really pick one song out from another at times, given the over-reliance on Beach Boys-style vocal harmonising, stop-start guitars and their distinct chorus style.

In some instances, Scouting For Girls could even be described as even more upbeat than The Feeling!

But try listening to the lyrics and there’s still plenty to admire. Heartbeat, for instance, begins with a pumping heart and proceeds to balance breezy piano chords with some hopeful, lovelorn lyrics (“every time that we meet I skip a heartbeat”/“I’ll walk you home safe from the dark, I’ll give you my jacket, I’ll give you my heart”) that can’t help but make you go “aaah”.

Elvis Ain’t Dead starts out with the sort of piano melody that Supertramp would be proud of before gushing forth on a lost love (“I wish it was me you chose”/ “I think I need a love labotomy”) in between bursts of proclaiming “Elvis Ain’t Dead and you’re coming back”. It’s endearingly naive, cleverly written and just wins you over with the exuberance of youth.

Even when lamenting the dullness of the old 9 to 5 routine on I Need A Holiday they manage to marry disenchanted lyrics with an impossibly upbeat vibe.

While on James Bond, they cheekily hero worship Roger Moore and co with delicious lyrics like “hello Mr Bond, I’ve been expecting you, Martini in your hand and that eyebrow that you move” and a chorus that announces “I wish I was James Bond just for a day, kissing all the girls and blowing all the bad guys away”. The melodies may have a familiar ring to it but the songwriting is so strong that you can’t help but depart with a smile on your face.

And with a hidden track about “Michaela Strachan” and being heartbroken at 12 (“it ain’t gonna happen for me and the Strachan”), you should be totally seduced by their giddy, boyish charm.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Scouting For Girls do expand their sound and find some grit as they contemplate their sophomore release but, for now, they should just have done enough to ensure they remain one of the breakthrough bands of the summer of ’07.

Download picks: It’s Not About You, She’s So Lovely, Elvis Ain’t Dead, James Bond, Heartbeat

Track listing:

  1. Keep On Walking
  2. She’s So Lovely
  3. It’s Not About You
  4. The Airplane Song
  5. Heartbeat
  6. Elvis Ain’t Dead
  7. I’m Not Over You
  8. I Need A Holiday
  9. The Mountains Of Navaho
  10. James Bond

  1. BEST ALBUM IN THE WORLD!

    sallie    Oct 9    #