Wicked Way quite literally dropped through my actual physical mailbox some weeks ago, but only as the release date of July 29th approaches have I really had a chance to listen to it. It’s eleven tracks of punk-edged, bouncy, bright, ridiculously catchy brightness.
One band that sprang to mind as I was listening to things was the sadly-departed Electric River. They’ve not got quite the same Pogues-esque lilt, but they’re in the same ballpark. Opener “All My Days” is just written to get a crowd up and going, with a section towards the end that must involve audience participation over-the-head handclapping. It’s a great track to open with and really lets you know what you’re in for.
The band aren’t a one-trick pony, either. Songs like “I Got You” and “We’ve Been Dreaming” are more lilting acoustic numbers than real foot-stompers, but they’re no less welcome on a sunny day with the top down. Well, I assume so anyway given that I live in Glasgow and despite it being mid-summer, it’s pissing down. Closing the blinds and cranking Wicked Way up really helps convince me otherwise, though.
“See You Soon” follows on the heels of these two and actually had the hairs rising up on the back of my neck (though, again, that could have been the weather). It has one of those wonderful slow-building sections that climaxes in a stupidly catchy bouncy chorus. Listening to it makes me want to pogo with my fist in the air and hug the person next to me. This is a gig-closer. Hands down. Hell, even the title works for the band walking off stage. “Pray” falls somewhere between this and “All My Days” and should breed a new generation of bedroom air guitar experts.
I could almost imagine “Little White Lies” being done as part of one of those of MTV Unplugged sessions back when MTV actually had music on it. One person, a guitar and maybe the drummer sat behind looking slightly uncomfortable armed with nothing more thumpy than a pair of maracas. Very atmospheric and chill-inducing.
For those “skip to the last paragraph” readers amongst you, here’s the summary: I love this album. It’s rocking, emotional, bouncy, relaxing, fun and – above all – makes you want to listen to it over and over again.
Wicked Way is out on July 29th and the band have a launch party on the 28th at Sebright Arms, London.