This record has proven nigh-on impossible to review. Because on the one hand there’s a hell of a lot of stuff about it which is right: it has the in-yer-face loudness of early Guns’n’Roses with the punk leanings of the Ramones, and jagged, jolting guitars on songs about girls, car crashes and friday nights. It’s got a healthy level of contempt: the song title 'Everybody Loves You (When You’re Dead)' being a case in point. That has to go on my list of contenders for ‘best song title of the year’. Moments such as the shout of “Guitar Boy!” just before the solo are absolutely ace and the best moments of the record are the ones like that, where you get the feeling they got carried away with the joy of making a loud-noise overblown rock album.
And yet I just can’t love this album like I want to because it’s too overproduced. When it comes to rock’n’roll excess of the type which this album verges on, the sound should to my mind be a raw one. But this album is excessively slick, and an immediacy the record might otherwise have had for me suffers from it. You just don’t get a sense of spontaneity from something this polished because it’s impossible not to be forced into a constant awareness that the sound has been cleaned up.
So yes: the over-production stops me raving about this album. And yet there’s far too much about it that should make it ace to allow me to consider slating it. One to check out live…?