GoodBooks - Control

Richard Braddock 27/07/2007

Rating: 4/5

Classic Indie-twang with a lump of Kraftwerk esque electronic beats thrown in for good measure, GoodBooks have been quietly building a reputation in the past year as something just a little different from the rest of the crowd. Personally, they sealed my approval when they gave me free badges, but then, I'm just easy to please.

Apparently, in their debut album Control, “GoodBooks ask the question - who is really in Control?” At least this is the marketing bumph their PR dept churned out to describe the album. Luckily, to us mere mortals, it sounds more like 49 minutes of pretty decent music. Highlights of which include 'Walk with me', 'Alice' and 'Beautiful to Watch'. They certainly wear their influences on their sleeve, with 'Good Life Salesman' largely reminiscent Hot Chip while tracks such as 'Turn it back' have more in common with The Sunshine Underground. Indeed, their eclectic percussive abilities also make comparisons to Guillemots a realistic shout, and help to give the songs some longevity past an initial couple of listens.

Surprisingly, up against the rest their current single 'Passchendaele' proves itself much more of a bland affair, and although passably catchy, it wouldn't be my choice to display their talents. Still, if you feel like being pretentious about their lyrics (as they seem to occasionally), there's plenty of scope, with the narrative throughout describing a soldier and his son, both of whom die in the two world wars. Now I love slamming indictments of our military history as much as the next man, I just prefer them not to be packaged within my tunes.

Putting aside any minor niggles, the album is damn solid effort for their first outing and certainly worth a buy. Indeed, for the first week it's available for just 5.99 on iTunes, so there are no excuses not to make up your own mind.

Released 30th July. You can listen to the album here