Plain White T's
Every Second Counts
Hot on the heels of their recent Number 2 single 'Hey There Delilah' is this record from Illinois' Plain White T's. The quintet's forth album, it is only recently that they made a mainstream breakthrough in their homeland, which in turn has led to interest on this side of the Atlantic, escalated by a recent appearance on the Lock Up Stage at the Carling Festival.
'Every Second Counts' is opened by the aforementioned hit in subdued fashion with a gentle acoustic track that has proved to be a great sing-a-long track. It isn't representational of the band's style, which is perhaps best described as a crossbreed of punk-pop and that dreaded tag of emo. 'Come Back To Me' is just one example of this, mixing gentle guitar melodies with power chords and vocals from Tom Higgenson that aren't unlike those of Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump. Those who enjoy it will be glad to know there's plenty more in the shape of 'Gimme A Chance', 'So Damn Clever' and the all out pop of 'Figure It Out'. The latter of these has a slight Latino flavour and a rolling chorus very similar to that of The Strokes' 'Hard To Explain'. The formula does get repetitive quickly though and tracks like 'You And Me' and 'Friends Don't Let Friends Dial Drunk' are nothing more than filler.
Surprisingly for a group that injects most of their songs with a decent amount of energy, it is the dreaded power ballads that are the better offerings to be found here. 'Take You There' ends the record is sweet, but dwarfed by the grand 'Making A Memory'. With a twist of blues, it has a chorus that will get glow sticks (lighters are so last year) being waved from side to side and mobile phones transmitting to friends not in attendance. Like the rest of the record it won't turn your musical world on its head, but it is a moment of quality on a collection that often blends together. Far from making every second count, it is hard to see the Plain White T's being much more than a flavour of the month, though they won't disappear into complete obscurity either.