Sgt. Wolfbanger - Think Inside The Box
Richard Wink 04/12/2009
Without knowing anything about this band, I assumed by their ridiculous name that this was going to be some kind of cod-techno from Austria. I wish it was. Sgt. Wolfbanger are a powerpop outfit that gurgle the kind of for-heavens-sake-grow-a-pair music that is seven levels of pathetic below emo.
'When I Break a Promise it Shatters' opens the album, it is a perfectly respectable MOR mid-afternoon radio song. Though I wonder what audience they are aiming for; quite possibly they are targeting a very lucrative market, one that includes the out of touch Radio 2 listener and the casual supermarket browsing music fan. When your lead singer makes statements such as "We're playing loads of gigs still and we've just signed a PR deal with a company who do all the publicity for a lot of very good artists like Newton Faulkner," it implies they are searching for the inoffensive radio hit that will lead them to the nearest gravy train.
Everything is neatly packaged, quoting vocalist Dan Parry again "We're going to try and get a showcase together for some of these labels in London. The album has interested them but they've got to see us live as a product and see how we interact with each other." It will be interesting to see just how well Sgt. Wolfbanger will be able to interact whilst performing a set of ten mid-tempo numbers.
Sure 'View from Volcanoes' sounds pretty enough but everything is too detached. The choruses echo, but can't inspire devotion, the riffs spiral effortlessly but leave no real impression, like superficial artex patterns. Sgt. Wolfbanger sound like a joyless, flimsier version of Kids in Glass Houses, whilst they maintain a similar pop sensibility, they play too safe. Think Inside The Box gives you all the satisfaction of receiving a bouquet of roses only to open the wrapping and find they are plastic.