Scouting For Girls - Heartbeat

Matthew Briggs 31/03/2008

Rating: 1/5

I've always had trouble distinguishing Scouting For Girls from other socially-acceptable-pop-dross that seem to hang around the charts like a bad smell. I can't possibly be the only person who struggles to see the difference between them and The Hoosiers? Or The Feeling?

Of course, there's no difference. To the middle aged men and women who buy their music in Tesco the above bands are appealing and the record companies know this, hence the reason Scouting For Girls have managed to pull a platinum selling album out of the bag. "Heartbeat" is the fourth single of said platinum selling debut album and no surprise it's just as bad as the previous three.

The mixture of guitars, drums and piano sounds utterly contrived and stilted when you compare it with the fantastic sound bands like Field Music manage to get out of those three instruments. The tempo is unsurprisingly upbeat, but rather than lift your spirits it kicks them to the floor and dances along to it's own back-slappingly irritating tune while trampling you underfoot.

Lyrically it's another tedious outing, identical to the other handful of songs that the band have let loose on the pop charts. At one point lead singer Roy Stride offers to "skip a heartbeat for you" and you can't help but hope he'd skip a few dozen more on top of that too, especially if it brings about the conclusion of the song any quicker. His vocals meander dangerously towards faux-American, it takes a keen ear to tell whether he's saying "ass" or "arse" in one of the songs less generic lines.

The list of sold out tour dates is enough to tell anyone that they're obviously catering for some form of audience, but this is pop music at it's worst. Dull, uninventive and annoyingly commercial. My fingers are crossed that they won't even bother coming back with a sophomore effort but my gut tells me they'll be pushed into a studio and ordered to record. And it'll probably bloody sell as well.

Release date: 07/04/08