Needs Must - Thank You For Choosing

Jamie Livingstone 21/11/2010

Rating: 2/5

The debut single from Medway-based band Needs Must is reminiscent of The Jam without the political fervour, acute observation, or passion. The tune is catchy like syphilis is catchy. You sit in the mediocrity of an irritating rash of a guitar part kicking you in the balls during every chorus. The video is packed with clichéd images of rebellion. The band is shown spray-painting 'Needs Must' on some corrugated iron (not even the a proper wall) and the band drinking pints of bitter and smoking. Just like the lads. But somehow, it isn't just like the lads. It doesn't have the same feeling of integrity that their contemporaries and superiors The View and Twisted Wheel naturally maintain.

Patrick Minhard (vocals and guitars) growls the verse “The import rates are getting higher, All sold out to the biggest buyer, The fast food chains are getting fatter, Leaves our metabolism in a tatter”. It feels like a packaged protest song. It lacks originality and sincerity - like the lads at school in the Highlands who are infected by Glaswegian accents like bad extras from River City. Coincidentally, this band would be more at home in the back room of a music classroom with their bland and predictable melodies and forgettable lyrics.

The cries of ”They are all outside they're looking in” is a highlight. This is a result of the redeeming rhythm section that have an ear for simplicity. The funky Alex James-esque bass riff is brilliantly accompanied by some effective disco high-hat work. Unfortunately, the sentiment of alienation and detachment remains unconvincing and is much better voiced in Scottish bands The Twilight Sad's song That Summer At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy.

The refrain of Thank You For Choosing, 'Because we don't care' seems bitterly ironic as Needs Must appear self-conscious and pretentious as they try to adopt a sound that makes this debut single sound plastic. The voice they have found does not belong to them.

The debut single by Needs Must is out Monday 21st November on Split Records.