The Joe Public - Skin
Owain Paciuszko 06/12/2009
A four track long single release from South Westerners The Joe Public is an odd duck, in so much as, the A-Side (as it were) is the weakest track here by a country mile. Sure it's a brash assault of choppy guitars and Jake Meeking's vocal hollering like Morrissey fronting The Cure, but it's rather inauspcious as far as debut single's go. Take What's Yours opens with a light piano-line, which suggests a surprising - dare I say - Keane string to their bow; but there's a bit more meat on their bones than the paper thin offerings of Tom Chaplin and co.
Stumbling finds them moving yet further away from the indie-pop of that lead track, with piano wrapped up in strings and acoustic guitars. It almost feels like the wrong songs have been burned onto the CD after track one. This one feeling like a typical Starsailor slow-builder, going from it's sparse opening into jazzier territory at the close. Closing track Solution throws in a laidback 'reggae' pace and thus winds up sounding like The Police jostling with contemporary Kings of Leon, it's an interesting step, but has little to offer beyond the concept.
There's nothing here to really get your talons wrapped round, and ultimately things are a bit flimsily melodramatic. Sure, they perform well and Meeking has a fine voice, but beyond an ability to build towards an 'epic' finale or toy with mood a bit, they fail to really sustain interest throughout the duration of a single track. With each new song the EP perks up again, but does dwindle off soon afterwards. Saying that though, I could envisage this band doing very well and gaining public interest, but I don't know if that's a compliment.