Sold as a band echoing the work of artists as diverse as My Bloody Valentine, The Verve and, um, The Killers, LA’s The Distortions have a challenge on their hands from the very outset. Such comparisons will only ever have the reviewer set to slate, as what band - really - can reference such an array of acts without sounding like a soulless and mindless patchwork devoid of substance? Well, The Distortions, actually.
As loathed as I am to mention that band again (oh, you know - NME cover stars, pretty boys, New Order rip offs), ‘Getting What We Deserve’, the second song here, does all that The Killers (ergh) do, only better, faster and stronger. It’s a song prime for FM radio exposure and no mistake - deceptively uncomplicated and immediately catchy, and replete with a slight lyrical drug reference that’ll have the fashionistas’ ears pricking up. “What? They buy drugs? Cool!”
Yeah, probably. ‘Shoegazer’, predictably enough, offers a nod to the dreamscapes of MBV, Slowdive et al without ever sounding like a pastiche or parody. Sure, the name of the song is so obvious it practically demands a critical mauling, but the music effortlessly sings for itself; laconic vocals float comfortably in a sea of beauteous noise. ‘Hinterland’ repeats the trick with similarly satisfying results.
Closer ‘Into The Next’ warrants that Verve reference - it’s a slice of psychedelic rock a la the Wigan outfit’s early work, all hazy sunrises and orange skies - but, truth be told, The Distortions don’t really need such comparisons to warrant interest, both of the commercial and critical variety. This album contains nine strong songs that are both creative and radio friendly, and that, in today’s market, is a stonewall recipe for success.
7Mike Diver's Score