'Direct To Helmet' is one of those singles that could very easily be misunderstood, I reckon. Opening with a strummed Honolulu guitar, wilting rock-radio vocals and a woozy penny-whistle it will probably be described as any combination of the following: a) charming, b) quirky, or c) 'perfect pop'. It is not perfect pop. Anyone that tries to tell you this is lying. Yes, it's well made - multi-layered, well-structured et cetera. But is it 'Hanging On The Telephone'? Is it 'Waterloo Sunset'? Is it 'Common People' or 'Black Cab'? Is it The Ramones?
No, no, no, no and _no_. It is hard to defend a song that - though it trots along very pleasantly, making all the right moves - is essentially lacking in any kind of character, or conflict or coherent sentiment. If it started up on the radio in the car it would perhaps feel right, but it wouldn't excite: however well built something is, no-one, not least The Spinto Band can pass off this lack of action for anything other than boredom.
This is Bright Eyes without the stories and rib-melting sincerity, Jens Lekman minus the charm but with added smarm; the equivalent of riding out the Sunday vacuum strolling around an out-of-town garden centre or electrical store or Ikea, OW! You get the idea: I'm not impressed. I am far too worn-down and sonically spoilt to care about this song. Plod off and come back on drugs or something.