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The Emergency - Doo-lang Doo-lang

Reviewed by Helen on 15th February 2007

A brief outline: The Emergency describe themselves as "loud Power-Pop with some weird bits and 3 cups of hops and barley." I describe them as Magic Numbers with a bit of the Who and some Cheap Trick thrown in for good measure, which isn't shocking since they cite those last two as big influences. Crystal-clear shiny lead guitar with soft bass, light cymbal-heavy drumming and British-Indie style singing - you know, a little flat, a little factual... if you've heard of The Wedding Present, think David Gedge mixed in with a little bit of Cake. If you've heard of Cake. Which you should've.

See? A little bit like Jack Black(image)
See? A little bit like Jack Black

My official review of this album starts thus:

Track 1: Woah, cool intro. Pretty tight. Pretty rawk. Wait, vocals... um... bit boring now... meh.
Track 2: Ugh. Vocals. Flat. Kinda out of tune. Meh.
Track 3: Woah, cool intro... wait, haven't I heard this song before? Checks CD insert... Apparently not... Starts flicking through phone book
Track 4: Lifts head... Good bass riffs. Really good bass riffs. Hang on, this is a mean bit of bass playing. Checks CD insert again... No wonder that bass riff's good, the bassist is sorta ho...
TRACK 5: AHA! Yes! Something good! Rather very good. Jiggles head a little. No wonder they wrote that the kids dig this track. Really catchy.
Track 6: Wait, has track 5 ended already? ...Meh.
Tracks 7-16: Rinse and repeat.

The rest of the review ends thus:

As you can probably guess, this is very much an album of mixed parts. Some tracks are quite good, some are quite bland, and some start with really ace riffs and get horridly dull about 20 seconds through. A good example of this is track ten, Home To Hide In - the riffs are great, the basic framework's fantastic, but, well, the top line melody is... pointless. In fact, out of tune. In some areas, really out of tune. It just makes the song quite boring.

They sent me a little note saying which tracks they "dig", and which tracks "the kids dig". Sweet. Obviously, I'd be a bad reviewer if I only listened to those tracks, but it was actually quite useful. It turns out their taste in music is quite boring, but their fans have sieved out the really good tracks. I found myself looking back at the note to check whether the track I'm listening to is on the little note, and hey presto! It is! Good stuff.

It's tempting to just pick out the best tracks and base the album review on those, because when the tracks are good, they're really good. Track 15, for example, called Anxiety All The Time, is quite catchy, and builds up nicely, but lasts less than a minute and a half. It left me wanting more. But more was not what I got. What I got was Eggs And Bacon. No, not breakfast. If it were breakfast, it would be unsweetened porridge. Perhaps there would be half a raisen in here and there. But mostly just porridge.

Flick back to Hey Whoopy Cat, I tell myself, find the good bits again. Yes, Hey Whoopy Cat is undeniably good. I can imagine quite a lot of Indie-kid pogoing could accompany this track, and I would be the first to leap on the pogo stick. A good, upbeat, friendly track. Good vocals - a bit of harmony even. But then your two minutes is up, and Get A Job drops in. And you suddenly realise that you look a bit of a prat: you stand there on the dancefloor, and your eyes open like those of a newborn kitten: and you head to the bar / loos / jukebox.

Unfortunately, these tracks are buried in a big heap of brown-paper mulch, and picking them out takes some patience and a lot of wading through boringness. It may or may not be worth it. I'd easily give the good tracks an eight, but the sheer mundanity of the rest of the album drags them down. Sorry guys. Especially to the bassist, who looks a bit like Jack Black. It feels bad to give Jack Black a middling number. But it has to be done.

Buy this album here and decide for yourself. Definitely better than Coldplay, so could be worth your while:
cdbaby.com/cd/emergency2

Rating: 5/10
Website: myspace.com/theemergencywv

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