Hats Off to the Buskers
hen reviewing British indie albums here at Stylus, we have many metrics on which we judge an album’s worth. Lately we’ve been using a very simple one, however: the Indie Haircut Bingo Card. The rules are simple: every time you complete a BINGO, we take a half-letter grade off your score. With twelve possibilities for Bingo (five horizontal, five vertical, two diagonal), it works out perfectly. Let’s take a look at how the View’s newest album, Hats Off to the Buskers, did! (Oh, don’t forget to begin by X-ing out the free space, occupied by NME editor Conor McNicolas!)
01. Band’s lead singer’s vocals contain an accent originating over 100 miles away from hometown.
02. Band has been a “MySpace Featured Band.”
03. Band plays “good ol' fashioned rock 'n' roll.”
04. Band’s PR firm leaks false stories about damage to hotel rooms to give client “edgy” credentials.
05. Band has re-released a single.
06. Band’s lyrics tend toward the bland/vague/non-descriptive, aside from random working class familiar references. (Inner city boozer, alleyway, DeMontfort University.)
07. Band has had “48 Mad/Crazy/Wild Hours With Britain's Maddest/Craziest/Wildest New Band” article written about them.
08. Band has songs about dancing you can't actually dance to.
09. Band has chosen to title a track by simply flicking through a book of baby names for girls.
10. Band’s has striking disparity between the aggression shown in interviews and timidity shown on wax.
11. Band lyrically references drugs using out-of-date slang terms.
12. Band has appeared on “Soccer AM.”
13. Band desperately cultivates an air of authenticity.
14. Band is signed to a pseudo-indie.
15. Band’s readily P2P-able demos reveal they sounded totally different before they signed to a label.
16. Band has had an NME tour slot.
17. Band includes “quirky” musical instruments on “wide-ranging” debut album.
18. Band has the ghost of Cast nodding down appreciatively over proceedings.
19. Band’s production is based around the challenging tactic of “turning volume on all instruments to 10. And that's it.”
20. Band will undoubtedly never sell as many copies of a subsequent record as they will of their debut.
21. Band releases most radio-friendly single in January sales lull to fool gullible public into thinking band are more popular than they are.
22. Band attempts Oasis-style sing-along choruses scuppered by the band's inability to write a tune.
23. Band has played a support slot for Babyshambles.
24. Band has cute lead singer.
Reviewed by: Dom Passantino
Reviewed on: 2007-01-26