Worthwhile word-of-mouth flavour of the last Lord-knows-how-many months, or needlessly praised toilet circuit veterans undeserving of critical salvaging? Until 'Hollywood Bowl' lit up the stereo like the Blackpool Illuminations (or maybe St Marys ladies' rouge-tinted front windows, considering the act in question), these ears forever followed the latter latitude. Now, though, they're forced to reconsider in possession of the hardest of facts: Fleeing New York are a quality outfit.
There's something defiantly retro about 'Hollywood Bowl' - it's pop grunge given a sing-along surf rock makeover - but the choppy guitars and unfussy yet incessant drumming is tuned enough to today's post-whatever preferences to warrant crossover success. Whether said widespread appreciation will follow in the wake of their deserved critical back-slapping is an impossible quandary - fashion's a fickle but essential factor, and Fleeing New York's multifaceted output, demonstrated by comparing the lead track here with downbeat bonus effort 'Here We Stand', ensures that they never sit steadily in one scene - but the band themselves shouldn't ever consider adopting a straight face to satisfy the money men. Theirs is a talent that's sprung naturally and matured over considerable time; to shift perspective when the fruits this one yields are so diverse, yet equally satisfying, would be a crime worth fleeing from.
Note: this CD got jammed in my player and I had to dismantle the thing, so I'm deducting a mark.
7Mike Diver's Score