Bell X1 - Rocky Took A Lover
Alex Worsnip 09/08/2006
Credit to Bell X1: they keep on plugging away, three albums in and probably past the phase when their music was even on the edge of what was fashionable (and having missed a good chance: Damien Rice was once their lead singer). Then again, with the 'rise' of Snow Patrol, I suppose Island Records may consider them prime for one last push: here at least, the two bands sound almost identical. Like previous singles, 'Rocky Took A Lover' sounds like a cross between an Irish Travis and mid-period R.E.M. stripped of all the joyous abandon. A few electronic twists are added to liven it up, but essentially it's a relatively typical strum-with-loud-drums. 'I'll shine for you', sings Paul Noonan (even his name sounds dull); not even he sounds like he thinks this might be an even vaguely original lyric. Not quite happy, not quite sad, it sits on the fence of mediocrity.
The B-side is an acoustic version of Depeche Mode's 'Enjoy The Silence', which strips the original of its electronic zing and Dave Gahan's booming, powerful voice; and turns it into just another indie dirge. It would at least be a curiosity, were it not for the fact the Easyworld did a similar thing (actually a bit better) a few years ago on the B-side to 'Junkies', confirming that 'Enjoy The Silence' is a song to which dull indie bands probably generally think 'good tune and all, but what's with those keyboards? Let's put an acoustic guitar there instead, there aren't enough of those in this world'.