The Spinners

Tired of Hanging Around (The Zutons, 2006)

In British, Dodo Dayao, Indie Rock on January 9, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Reined in—meaning it has fewer genre mash-ups and even fewer lashings of that vaguely Beefheartian oddness—the multi-colored, many-flavored retro David McCabe went mega for on Zutons’ scatter-brained, Mercury-nominated debut is now all of a jaunty 70’s FM pop/rock piece under Stephen Street’s big, glossy thumb. One of McCabe’s many bet-hedging deterrents to slump, no doubt. Also, muscling in on turf once staked by Paul Heaton, calming Abi Harding’s saxophone down so she can sing a bit, heightening melodic chops with stickier choruses. And zooming in from widescreen noir into surreal domestic miniatures undercut with paranoia—ghosts dogging the fitfully asleep, ham sandwiches trying to talk the hung-over out of supper and wrong girls littering a scabby Liverpool of the mind, one of whom drives Daddy to off himself, another winds up in jail, another sings a duet with her stalker. The cocky all that McCabe gives his singing makes every song sound like a gorgeous nervous breakdown.  Or maybe he’s just a little too eager to please.  Do cut him slack. It’s every pop songwriter’s imperative: guy’s writing a catchy tune to save his life. Low risk, with a paucity of ideas, it still makes easy prey of my passing fancy for indiepop with quirk, if only because it fulfills the quintessential conundrum of all those OK, not great, pop albums that deserve a spin or two: nothing here you haven’t heard before, most of it you’d listen to again.

Dodo Dayao

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