Follow Us on Twitter

The Ordinary Boys - How To Get Everything You Ever Wanted In Ten Easy Steps

The Ordinary Boys, How To Get Everything You Ever Wanted In Ten Easy Steps

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

IT’S been a remarkable 12 months for The Ordinary Boys, given lead singer Preston’s stint on Celebrity Big Brother and his much-publicised romance with co-competitor Chantelle.

Now, all of a sudden they’re a big band and expectation surrounding the release of their third album is huge. It’s just as well that they appear to be taking the newfound celebrity in their stride, for the extravagently titled How To Get Everything You Ever Wanted In Ten Easy Steps quite possibly represents their best work yet.

Previously known for their ska-influenced form of lad-rock, Preston and co have toned things down a little and come up with a richer sound, with a little help from unknown producer DJ Plastic Man.

It’s hardly surprising to report that the concept behind it has been partly inspired by the band’s experiences over the past year, with frequent nods to celebrity and love. But it somehow works as a very satisfying whole that suggests The Ordinary Boys are now much better than average when it comes to crafting their albums.

Indeed, in terms of ambition and concept, the album seems to have borrowed from several influences. In its long name alone, it seems to have tapped into the “new cool” for long names inspired by the Arctic Monkeys, while the idea of including things like commercial breaks and intermissions in between tracks that gush forth pertinent social commentary, they appear to be taking a leaf out of Blur’s copybook (and their Modern Life Is Rubbish album).

Indeed, there’s even a touch of the early Blurs about songs like Great Big Rip Off, where the guitars are less ska-influenced and more Brit-pop/indie based. That song, in particular, is one of several highlights – a loud, proud rant against the “rip off” nature of Britain that won’t fail to have you chanting along with it.

Occasionally, the album relies a little too heavily on the established formula for giddy, shambolic, ska-based rock (such as The Higher The Highs) but the majority of the songs retain an endearing quality that’s impossible to dislike, even if some lack the durability of others.

The album’s picks include current single Lonely At The Top, which is confidently delivered and catchy as hell – and certainly inspired by Preston’s newfound celebrity. The charming ballad I Luv U is also an interesting change of pace that finds Preston’s usual arrogant swagger replaced by something much more shy and sensitive. Undoubtedly written as an ode to Chantelle, it’s sweet without being sickly and capably broadens the album’s appeal.

Crowd-pleaser Nine2five is as fun as ever, courtesy of its cheeky “la, la, la” chorus and breezy mix of ska and pop, while Ballad Of An Unrequited Self-Love Affair is another clever exploration of celebrity and the insatiable need to be loved by one and all.

Shut Your Mouth is another feisty offering that includes some strong guitar riffs and another chant-heavy chorus, while the upbeat We’ve Got The Best Job Ever capably combines some energetic hand-clap beats with a flurry of electronics that lend it a giddy, heady quality that’ll have you dancing from the outset. It also feels like a celebration of the band’s newfound status and contains a certain infectious quality.

The album is rounded off with a newer recording of signature track Boys Will Be Boys, presumably as an addition to anyone who’s playing catch up with their material. What it does, however, is to highlight just how far their songwriting has moved forward.

For How To Get Everything You Ever Wanted In Ten Easy Steps is the assured sound of a band having fun and progressing confidently. It’s a lively, fun listen that really does mark their best collection of work yet. And that makes it far from ordinary.

Album sampler

Track listing:

  1. Introducing The Brand
  2. Lonely At The Top
  3. Great Big Rip Off
  4. Club Chez Moi
  5. I Luv U
  6. Nine2five
  7. Commercial Breakdown
  8. Ballad Of An Unrequited Self-Love Affair
  9. The Higher The Highs
  10. Shut Your Mouth
  11. We’ve Got The Best Job Ever
  12. Walking On The Faultlines (The Ultimate Step)
  13. Thank You And Goodnight
  14. Who’s That Boy?
  15. Boys Will Be Boys

  1. This is a terrible review. The albums have been getting worse since the masterpiece that is Over The Counter Culture. Preston has obviously let fame and money to go to his head and totally changed the style of the music. The real fanbase will shun this album.

    glen    Oct 27    #
  2. If you listen expecting to hear Over The Counter Culture then you will be disappointed, but listen with no preconcieved ideas and you will find it a really good listen.

    Bands have to move forward, The Ordinary Boys are trying not to live in the past and as a fan I respect that.

    benji    Oct 27    #