rom the cover art inwards, this album is thoroughly soaked with the jizz of frantic adolescents. Which is fair enough, when you consider that The Music are just that. From their ridiculously clueless, all-encompassing moniker and "look at us, we’re so trippy" artwork to the bottoms of their frayed flares and the sleeves of their council-estate-approved Kappa hoodies, these Leeds kids are the ultimate teenage boy’s musical wet dream.
Standing recklessly out-of-step with everything going on in young Brit-guitar-rock at the moment, The Music are having a howling, thunderous wail of a good time, tragically uncool and hopelessly, naïvely angsty in that aimlessly existential way that only teenage boys can fully achieve. Coldplay may be shifting thousands of units to people for whom Saturday mornings are spent at DIY stores, but The Music are tapping straight into the veins of people who are after something much less urbane and much more adrenalised. Deep down though, the two aren’t that dissimilar – neither were invited to the cool parties or picked to play on the football team at school. The difference is in how they’ve dealt with their youthful frustration; while Coldplay chose to mope, The Music choose to rock.
Guitars slap you in the face almost from before you press play, Adam Nutter living out a thousand foot-on-the-monitor fantasies as he lashes and chugs at his instrument. He looks like John Squire, he (almost) sounds like John Squire, but he claims not to be influenced by him. Whatever, it’s the kind of overblown six-string pyrotechnics that Squire perfected on Second Coming that inform most of The Music’s material. And if he can’t quite master the same level of technique as Squire then he’s going to flange, wah and overdrive that fucking guitar till it sounds like he can. Nutter’s axe wank is underpinned throughout by a thunderously unsubtle drummer who comes across like the unnatural offspring of John Bonham and Animal from the Muppets, while the bludgeoning 100mph hod-carrier funk basslines that the Borstal-inmate-look-alike bass player produces fit nicely into the faux-dance rhythmic template. Frontman Robert Harvey, meanwhile, is less of a singer than one of those squalling Howler Monkeys you see at the zoo, his lyrics little more than an excuse to scream and scat like a Yorkshire banshee on heat. The combined effect is gargantuan. It’s big, it’s fast, it’s loud, it’s got a backbeat you can’t move with a juggernaught and it’s definitely not clever.
Occasionally The Music’s onanistic wall of sound hits the mark, such as on the spectacularly taught and blustery ‘Take the Long Road and Walk It’, but for the most part The Music is directionless and tuneless frug nonsense. Exhilarating and enjoyable, but nonsense nonetheless. If you’ve never heard anything like them then The Music could well “change the way you live” like they claim on “The People”, but if you’ve ever heard The Verve psych-out, Hendrix stroke liquid fire from his guitar, or The Stone Roses twin mercurial guitar lines with loose and funky breakbeats, then this is going to get very tiresome very quickly.
Reviewed by: Nick Southall
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01