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The View - Hats Off To The Buskers

The View, Hats Off To The Buskers

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

WELCOME to the first great release of 2007. The View’s Hats Off To The Buskers is not only a terrific guitar album but also one of the feelgood records of the year.

With its infectious energy, carefree attitude and brash youthful swagger, this Dundee-based fourpiece literally sweep you off your feet amid a tidal wave of fizzing guitar riffs and cheeky lyrics.

They’ve been dubbed this year’s Arctic Monkeys by some and, for my money, they’re better. While the Oasis comparisons are hardly surprising given they cite the Gallaghers as mentors.

But given that lead guitarist Peter Reilly has referred to such comparisons as lazy, it would be foolish to persist with them too long.

Certainly, Hats Off To The Buskers contains the same sort of relentless energy as the Arctic Monkeys’ acclaimed debut, while on tracks like Don’t Tell Me there’s certainly a touch of the Oasis about them (think She’s Electric).

But The View aren’t about ripping off other artists and set about stamping their own sense of style all over this effervescent release.

Album opener Comin’ Down kicks things off in suitably brash fasion – a crashing drum beat giving way to a rousing guitar intro that’s delivered at full pelt. There’s nods to the ’60s in the pulse-pounding rhythms but it’s a firm statement of intent that The View are about to rock your world.

Two party anthems follow – the breathlessly irresistible Superstar Tradesman with its cracking guitarwork and infectious sense of style, and the humdinging Same Jeans, an all-time classic in the making.

With its cheeky lyrics and effortlessly catchy melodies Same Jeans looks set to do for The View what There She Goes did for The La’s and Song 2 did for Blur. It’s an anthem to be sung loud in every club, pub and live gig and which looks set to become an anthem for a generation.

Just occasionally, their giddy sense of abandon threatens to run away with them – Skag Trendy a totally madcap guitar romp that charts some near-hysterical vocal highs. That said, the mid-track tempo shift will definitely catch you off-guard.

But there are also moments that completely disarm the listener, such as the sweet ditty that is The Don, a stripped down, chime-laden offering that hints at some sensitivity. Likewise, the acoustic-driven Face For The Radio – another effort that clearly takes its cue from Oasis or even The Kooks.

The chorus of “wages on a Friday, spent on Saturday…” is delivered in sublime fashion and evidence of a band that’s very confident in its own ability to mix things up.

Wasted Little DJ’s is another powerful guitar anthem, it’s central riff flirting with The Cult’s She Sells Sanctuary before following its own direction, while Claudia succeeds in seducing you with its wistful sense of purpose and engaging melodies.

And album closers Street Lights and Wastelands guarantee that the long-player finishes every bit as strongly as it begins.

Hats Off To The Buskers is therefore an incendiary debut that barely skips a beat. Like we said, it’s the year’s first great guitar album and an essential addition to any record collection.

Download picks: Superstar Tradesman, Same Jeans, Don’t Tell Me, Streetlights, Wasted Little DJ’s, The Don

Track listing:

  1. Comin’ Down
  2. Superstar Tradesman
  3. Same Jeans
  4. Don’t Tell Me
  5. Skag Trendy
  6. The Don
  7. Face For The Radio
  8. Wasted Little DJ’s
  9. Gran’s For Tea
  10. Dance Into The Night
  11. Claudia
  12. Streetlights
  13. Wasteland
  14. Typical Time