The Strangerhood - Attention
Owain Paciuszko 13/01/2011
After a dreary synthy start with grizzly rock vocals from Dean Austin, opening track Attention Seeking Missile manages to find some life once the tempo increases and the rest of the band join in at full throttle. It's a fun if conventional opener that pegs this band as purveyors of lively indie-rock with some pretensions to greater things, the recording here is a bit too scruffy to really sell their more ambitious moments winding up sounding like Kasabian covered by The Automatic.
Fore! is a lot more successful, with a buoyant, quirky pace and Austin's vocals tumbling out with a stream of conscious like abandon and a pleasingly dry tone; 'Well, when I was young I had invisible friends/But the hypocrites accused me of inventing them.' It stumbles a bit on rather limp choruses, but for the most part is a pleasingly ramshackle rocker, with a nice synthy-reprise at the track's close.
There's an element of Babybird to be heard on the wry opening to The Borderline Of The Adventure (Mr. Pinch Mix), 'The hamster's dead but the wheel keeps spinning' Austin drawls. Up against the downtempo beats and ambient sound, Austin's voice feels a little flat, like Chris Cornell having a bad day. Despite its remix jiggery pokery the track never really goes anyway, and mumbles along disposably before the final track Wail strikes up. Worryingly its still somewhat maudlin in tone, but fortunately lively acoustic guitar and bubbling bass strike up pushing the pace forward superbly and propping up Austin's vocal performance which is far better served by the squawked moments rather than the softer segments. It draws all four members of the band together excellently for the closing moments, the synths working particularly well, with the whole thing sounding a bit like The Verve Pipe.
This is an ok little EP from this Hertfordshire quartet, the spritely Fore! the most consistently enjoyable track, but the bookending tunes have moments of promise here and there.