Review: Jack Foley
THE Eighties revival shows no sign of letting up at the moment,
although Grand National have, at least, decided to revisit another
part of that decade.
While most other rock bands of the moment content themselves
with retreading the post-punk path to success, this north London
based duo veer into New Order territory, laced with a bit of The
Grand National are comprised of the multi-instrumental duo of
Rupert Lyddon and Lawrence 'La' Rudd, who came from performing
cover versions of The Police and Queen to the cusp of fame, thanks
to a chance meeting with Primal Scream, while they were recording
The result of that encounter is Kicking The National Habit,
an album that possesses all the cheesy hallmarks of a really bad
80s record, but which remains strangely pleasurable in spite of
yourself. A guilty pleasure, if you will.
The Police/New Order comparisons are never more evident than
during third track, Playing In The Distance, which Uncut
magazine referred to as 'Roxanne meets 'Born Slippy' with Alan
Rankine, of Associates, on keyboards'.
The backing vocals are so Sting-based, that you almost cannot
believe the former Police frontman isn't singing on the record
And in spite of how that may sound, it actually works really
Likewise, opening track, Drink To Move On, with its ringing
guitars and laidback vocal style, that really conjures memories
of the New Order of Regret.
The album only really begins to test the patience, during hopelessly
upbeat moments such as Boner, which is described as a blast
of neo-ska. It simply grates.
But the cool vibe of Peanut Dreams, with its cracking
bass and weeping guitar, brings things back on track nicely, veering
slightly into territory previously owned by The Beloved.
The second half of the album tends to remain upbeat, with a few
driving beats to spice things up a little - but tracks like Coming
Round and the synth-charged North Sound Off don't work
as well as they might, and expose the album as the slight bit
of throwaway fun that it ultimately is.
1. Drink To Moving On
2. Talk Amongst Yourselves
3. Playing In The Distance
5. Peanut Dreams
6. Cherry Tree
7. Coming Round
8. Daylight Goes
9. North Sound Off
10. Litter Bin