Remember the days when you listened to Feeder, Ash or The Subways and thought they were THE BEST THING EVER? Not just a stepping stone towards The Replacements, The Ramones and other more 'respectable' ilk but wholly original outfits who condensed a perennially optimistic release of teenage angst into three minute 30 second snippets of pop perfection.
You Animals make me feel like they may well be THE BEST THING EVER too. Of course in the cold light of day this Derbyshire-based six piece aren’t worthy of such hyperbole, but for the 50 minute duration of their debut LP you’ll be damned to hear me saying anything to the contrary.
I write this review in the absence of said sugar coated indie rock, hence there are a few negative aspects of Crimes, Creeps & Thrills worth mentioning.
It contains a song entitled ‘Every Day Is Like A Friday Night’ which when you really think about it, is still a complete crock of shit. Lead singer Ryan Needham cannot, unless in instances of extreme rarity, leave room in a track where his fervent holler doesn’t feature through the dual strategy of elongating his vowels to riiiiiiiiiiiidiculous extents or inserting festival-friendly cries of “woah woah” or “badda ba badda” to fill the gaps.
Furthermore, several tracks are bookended by unnecessary stabs at ambient interlude which only serve to make you wish You Animals would bloody well get on with it and deliver their next could-be single. And what a catalogue they have to choose from: ‘What A Shame Lorraine’ bristles with all the energy its endearingly silly chorus line affords it; ‘Halfway To Heartbreak’ grates spiky six string over deliriously squelching synth; ‘Western Stab’ makes a decent fist of lovelorn sentiment. This stuff is seemingly made for Radio 1’s summertime playlist as was.
Certainly a line like “communicate, communicate for the first time always” (‘Communicate’) is never going to whip up a crowd of avid chin-strokers into unbridled applause, but for those still in touch with their 14 year-old selves, Crimes, Creeps & Thrills is a gateway to those halcyon days. As the instant gratification of ‘What You Know/What You Need’ dictates, why have a verse when you can write two choruses? Why not go one step further and pen your own theme song in the shape of ‘Theme From You Animals’? Why not have fun?
Once set in that mindset, the revelation that You Animals are THE BEST THING EVER should come as no great shock. They are, after all, supremely accomplished at stirring the base emotions into an electrifying rush of naive glee.
Yet that feeling of rekindled youth doesn’t last forever and by the time their second album arrives, You Animals will have to make some play for the territory of prolonged aural satisfaction. For the moment though, I’m siding with my former spotty, bespectacled self in saying Crimes, Creeps & Thrills is so good, it even ranks on a par with Hard-Fi’s Stars Of CCTV.
7Robert Leedham's Score