In 2007 Scottish Indie darlings The View released 'Hats Off To The Buskers'. They released 5 singles from it, it went to #1 and it earned them a Mercury Music Prize nomination. Since then the band have released two further albums, 'Witch Bitch' and 'Bread and Circuses'. Both were commercially successful releases and, whilst they may not have been as well received critically, they were to the liking of most of their fans. All were released on the 1965 record label.
Skip forward five years from their meteoric introduction and halcyon honeymoon and the band have switched labels, stewed over the new album's release and seemingly lost nearly all of their original charm and appeal. The album 'Cheeky For A Reason' sees a very different View from that which broke onto the music scene four albums ago. This View is all about anthemic, characterless sing-a-longs full of vacuous tedium with little, if any, redeeming features.
Single release 'How Long' kicks off the cliche ridden portfolio of Scotch Rock. Were The Bay City Rollers, Big Country, Biffy Clyro and The Proclaimers ever to collaborate and write an album together, it would probably sound exactly like this. Whilst that may fill a few of you with deep joy at such a prospect, hearing the actual result is an unpleasant, nauseous experience. If you're 13 and have been raised on the Outer Hebrides by tyrannical and strictly religious parents and the only music available to you is the mating call of the Subalpine Warbler then this album by The View will come as a revelation to you, otherwise avoid it at all costs.(Actually, avoid it if it's free).
The laddish and loud beginnings continue on into 'AB (We Need Treatment)'.....'You shouldn't be so A, You shouldn't be so B, You shouldn't be so hey, what's wrong with me?' If you can continue on after this point you either haven't been listening properly or you're some sort of masochist. 'Hold On Now' is another rowdy riot of boisterous banality that sounds as if it were written and recorded in the nearest pub after a few pints. 'Anfield Row' does at least change the perspective of the album very slightly. By slowing proceedings to a more mundane pace, The View do at least produce a palatable, almost bearable song. Even here, though, the handclaps and the 'everybody sing along' arrangement coupled with more forth form lyricism, 'I'm an arrow but there's no bow, living without you on Anfield Row', do grate after a while.
Cheeky For A Reason has twelve tracks of similar merit. I won't pull them all apart for you; to do so would merely be churlish as I think I have made my views clear. This is not a good album from The View and I think in time even they will come to recognise that. On a barmy summer's eve near Kinross with 60,000 fellow Scots and a few too many beers, the collective shared experience of a sing-a-long to your favourite home coming band may work briefly but, as an album, it does not. Kyle Falconer's upbeat strap line 'It's Fleetwood Mac's Rumours done by The Clash' may have been tongue-in-cheek but it was also, unfortunately, very wide of the mark.