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The Motorettes - The Motorettes

The Motorettes

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE Motorettes are Robin Howe (guitar and vox), Jed Laidlaw (bass and vox) and Jack Laidlaw (drums) and their fast, furious brand of music-making is designed with the summer in mind.

Inspired by the likes of The Ramones, Phil Spector and TRASH POP!, the eponymous album is a livewire of manic energy, spiky hooks and jagged vocals that put you into a spin.

Occasionally, it’s terrific fun, while at other times it blurs into one big noise. When it’s good, though, it’s pretty darn fun.

Songs like Go Go Gadget Girl explode into life with stop-start guitar riffs, hand-clapping beats and vocal layering that’s reminiscent of Ash in their prime, and a nice outro of laughter that pretty much encapsulates the sense of juvenile fun surrounding it.

Former single You Gotta Look The Part is another heavy-hitter – a riot of energy that’s served up on a heady chorus of “death on the radio”. Festival-goers will doubtless have been chanting along with it at countless gigs, while the manic energy is made for jumping around the room in slightly insane fashion.

Sometimes this unbridled, unchecked enthusiasm becomes wearying, especially late on as the album threatens to run out of ideas. But along the way there are a couple of moments that hint at a lot more to come from the band as part of their developing arsenal of creativity.

Heart Stop Ing is much more structured and boasts some terrifically catchy hooks and melodies that could give rise to some really beautiful songwriting as the band matures. Right now, it arrives like a welcome breath of fresh air from all the giddy bouncing – a track where the guitars and vocals work in perfect company.

Pretty amazing, too, is their cult classic cover version of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m On Fire, as though written and delivered while on speed. Though instantly recognisable, it’s blasted out in a completely different tempo that expertly mixes a warm sense of familiarity with something knowingly different (it’s another cover version that’s worth it because it dares to re-imagine things).

There’s a disarming piano arrangement to kick-start another of the album’s surprises, I Hate To See You Cry, which again finds them developing in nicely eclectic fashion. It could well become a cigarette lighter anthem for them.

But for now, they’re clearly at their most relaxed when taking it to the max and final few tracks Relax, It’s The 80s and (Do You Wanna Be My) Girlfriend? return the manic vibe in just as infectious, giddy fashion.

As summer albums go, this is certainly a lively addition that’s sure to win friends and influence countless others. It’s a blast, if a little rough around the edges in places.

Track listing:

  1. Super Heartbeats
  2. You Gotta Look The Part
  3. Go Go Gadget Girl
  4. Heart Stop Ing
  5. I’m On Fire
  6. Baby Come Home
  7. I Hate To See You Cry
  8. Death Is Cool
  9. Do You Wanna Be My Girlfriend
  10. I Am Blisters I Am
  11. Relax It’s The 80’s
  12. Vs The Mountains