Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! They’re are back and this time it’s ghastly.
OK, let’s all get caught up. It’s 2002 and here we have Cornish-via-Mancs Britrock boys Haven. They’ve got a couple of singable choons, namely ‘Say Something’ and ‘Beautiful Thing’ and one song called ‘Til The End’ that’s bound to be a hit coz it sounds a bit like a dude called Jeff Buckley and he’s real popular right now. Oh and that one from The Smiths who isn’t Morrissey is producing. So far, so passable. Who gives a fuck if the rest of their album is filler, right?
All’s good and well. The lads have a bunch of number 20-or-30 something hits and then leg it off for two years to write make or break record #2. But, fuck, wait! Look what happened to that Puressence that sounded exactly like ‘em! Time for a bit of a direction change, then. Only how exactly do you do that when your only influences are Oasis and a bunch of other dull-as-boots trad rock records?
The answer, apparently, is listen to a couple of The La’s tracks and write a bunch of pukesome ballads that would be rejected by Westlife for being too naff. Just look at the track listing and you’ll get a good idea of what to expect: ‘What Love Is’, ‘Wouldn’t Change A Thing’, ‘Something Moved Me’ are but a few of the offending titles. It seems this is either the work of a particularly despicable sadist or a gospel choir.
The whole record reaks of desperation. Check out the lyrics to the truly disturbing ‘Together’s Better’, presumably written from the point of view of a demented stalker: “Please don’t ignore me, pleeeease,” whines singer Gary Briggs, “You’ve got to see that together we’re better”. Err, if you say so.
Fact is, there is not a single potential hit from start to finish. Even Longview’s comparable debut had one or two notable moments, but ‘All For A Reason’ simply stinks, its only saving grace the exclusion of the truly monstrous interim single ‘Tell Me’. Rarely has the dumper’s call rung so clear.
3Tom Edwards's Score