On the back of a few Single releases like "Cavorting" and "Acrylic" The Courteeners have been up and down the country selling out venues for fun. All this without an album release and before the doubters start The Courteeners have been selling out venues such as Carling Academy 2 in Manchester and The Astoria in London. Not small venues by any stretch of the imagination.
It is no surprises that The Courteeners are receiving a lot of attention all the way through the music business. The fact of the matter is that these guys have put themselves on a massive pedestal and it is time to see if they can live up to it in the shape of their debut album "St. Jude"
Unfortunately the one thing that goes against these guys is that they are from Manchester (ironically). The Courteeners are straight away labelled as a so-called "Lads Band" well just listen to some of the tracks and be proven wrong.
"St Jude" is a record that has not been filled with ten or eleven tracks that sound more or less the same with the same four chords being played. They show that The Courteeners are not just a one trick pony. Lets face it they could of filled the album with ten songs that sound like "Cavorting" and the majority out there would of lapped it up, but that is not these guys way they don't sit back and play it safe.
The album is kicked off with a live favourite in the shape of "Aftershow" Which when you do go and see these guys is the opening track of their set. Fittingly the upbeat "Cavorting" follows and with tunes like this you can see why lead man Liam Fray has been dubbed the next Alex Turner, Noel Gallagher and Morrissey. This guy seems to a part of all three mixed together which sets up for an exciting song writing lead singing guitarist! "What Took You So Long" is a perfect example of Fray's unique story telling? "St. Jude" has some good meat on it but at times lacks that extra edge to make it a brilliant debut album. For me there are just too many slow tracks, which don't get me wrong The Courteeners, do OK but it's not what they do best.
Time to take a breathe and.
.Bang, the band come crashing in with winding guitar riffs and smashing drums with "If It Wasn't For Me". Although there is that Arctic Monkeys feel to it this is a cracking tune from these guys.
For some bizarre reason there are eight tracks full of nothing, no name, no music, nothing!!! Eight minutes and Five seconds of your life wasted, because you listen to make sure that it is full of nothing!! It is gimmicks like this that get on your t***s what is the point? All this just to wait for "Acrylic"! A brilliant track in it's own right but there is no need for this unnecessary build up. Annoying!
The only real thing that is disappointing about this album is that it sounds too clean, everything seems to be tweaked to perfection, which lets face it doesn't suit some bands. Look at The Libertines, the beauty about them was the rawness of their sound and if The Courteeners was left to it's own devises instead of being tampered with then it would most certainly of improved the feel to it. There is no doubt however that there is so much more to come from these lads from Manchester. Watch this space!