Sunday 12 August 2012

Wildlife Control - Wildlife Control

Album review by KevW

It's a bit tricky to know what to make of trans-American brothers Wildlife Control. Their hearts are in the right place, so that's a good start. They're not afraid of humour or even self-depreciation as opening track 'Brooklyn' sings "everybody's moving, everybody's moving to Brooklyn" and acts as something of a parody of the city's attraction to trendy, arty types who "think that [they're] gonna be famous", yet will eventually give up, move home, have babies and live the regular American life. Can you guess where one of the brothers resides? There's also the double whammy of the other member of the Shah family taking up residence in its Western counterpart San Francisco.

It's not a bad album, 'Wildlife Control', yet it's difficult to become too attached to it, as despite the best of intentions it creeps into the overflowing pit of landfill indie, albeit in a more honourable way. The upbeat guitar tunes like 'Analogue Or Digital' and 'Tangerine' do have something about them and are reasonable listens but not much more. Blocking out images of The Kooks, The Pigeon Detectives and Scouting For Girls aren't easy with tracks such as 'Lose' or 'Spin'. The bulk of the album is made up of standard, Radio 2 friendly indie, full of pianos and polite electronics. It's about as risky as eating a packet of biscuits that are a day past their sell by date, only less fun.

'Melody' might be aiming for Nick Drake but ends up more like a Newton Falkner B-side. 'Wildlife Control' is a pop record unsuccessfully trying to be alternative and the result is ten shades of beige. So they can write songs, but they need an artistic director or producer to say "no that's a crap, instead let's do it this way." They need some afterburners attached to kickstart their career or forever be stuck soundtracking awful US teen dramas. These brothers should decide where they're heading and what they have to do to get there, because at the moment they just like a less interesting version of The Beautiful South. And The Beautiful South were rubbish.

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