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The Ordinary Boys - The Ordinary Boys (Review)

The Ordinary Boys

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

THEY may have taken a hiatus of nearly 10 years but not much appears to have changed for The Ordinary Boys when it comes to approaching their song-writing.

The line-up is principally the same – Preston, James Gregory on bass, and Charlie ‘Chuck’ Stanley on drums, with the addition of Louis Jones on guitar – but the sound is awfully familiar. In some ways, that’s a good thing because it means you know exactly what you’re going to get, but in others it feels like a disappointment, especially when given the lack of diversity inherent in the songs that comprise their self-titled LP.

In their prime, The Ordinary Boys were responsible for such anthems as Boys Will Be Boys and Lonely At The Top… tracks that dealt in laddish swagger and which combined ska-rock with Brit-pop tendencies. For my money, they were always at their best when dealing in the latter.

And so it proves that The Ordinary Boys LP delivers much of the same – short, snappy anthems that contain the same exuberant swagger as songs of old. And when they get it right, there’s a lot of fun to be had.

Former single Four Letter Word, for instance, has a head-rush guitar vibe and chant-worthy anthem that even bears comparison with the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, while Cruel manages to put a positive sounding spin on a track about cruelty in love. It’s fast, furious and competently mixes easy-going melodies with some crunching guitar riffs.

Panic Attack is another cracker… a foot-stomper of high enjoyability that is unashamedly simple lyrically, but which drops some of the finest riffs on the LP (some of which hark back to Stones and Who era Brit rock).

Instances of the album sounding a little more on auto-pilot are tracks like Awkward, Losing My Cool (which owes a certain something to the likes of Blink-182) and Do Or Die, which thrash around without offering much variation or anything to really hook you in and keep you listening.

It’s perhaps not lost on this reviewer, however, that final track and further highlight Disposable Anthem should be so aptly titled. It’s loud, melodic, Brit-pop leaning and crowd-pleasing but the epitome of the disposable anthem it sings of. And that, in a nutshell, is a good description of the album as a whole.

Download picks: Almost Ready, Disposable Anthem, Panic Attack, Four Letter Word

Track listing:

  1. About Tonight
  2. Awkward
  3. Four Letter Word
  4. I m Leaving You (And I m Taking You With Me)
  5. Losing My Cool
  6. Cruel
  7. Panic Attack
  8. Do Or Die
  9. Almost Ready
  10. Putting My Heart On The Line
  11. Disposable Anthem