Antihero - This is an Emergency

Benjamin Short 07/03/2006

Rating: 5/5

Typical - Just when you're about to admit defeat, and concede that 2004 was a bad year for music, the album of the year drops into your letterbox on Christmas eve!
Let us be clear about this - Antihero are quite possibly the finest British rock band of the moment. They are certainly the most wonderful thing to come out of Stratford-upon-Avon since the Bard himself.
'This is an Emergency' is a rawk record of the highest order. Whilst this may not be fashionable in the age of Franz Ferdinand and their ilk, it sure as hell sounds good!
On 'Don't Trust the D.J.', vocalist Pete Hurley spits out lyrical clich├ęs with a forcefulness which defies their lack of originality. The remixed version of 'Who's Looking out for Number One' has been given a sizeable dose of performance enhancing drugs, and as such, shits on the original from the greatest of heights.

The full-on hardcore assault is sometimes interrupted by electro flourishes, such as the interlude mid-way through the record, or the sampled intro to 'You Got Nothing'. Occasionally, Antihero reveal their sensitive side, as on 'Why do you Look so Scared?', a song which details the pain of one-way love, with a heartfelt acapella middle eight.
The final track, 'Trapped Inside the Record' deals the killer blow. With a simple piano and string arrangement, and the sweetest of lyrics, it is utterly gorgeous and utterly unexpected.

The themes of love and tragedy, as emphasised by the record's Valentine's day release date, infect 'This is and Emergency' to the point of becoming a proggish concept. But this is no bad thing. In fact, it could well provide the perfect gift for the one you adore! Besides, it's about time the indie boys grew up, abandoned their angst, and fell in love.