The View have set the knobs of the time machine for 1977, not so much to journey back to the birth of punk but to do a stitch-up job on two of the biggest acts of that Star Wars year. Intending to make a record that sounds like Fleetwood Mac's Rumours if it had been made by The Clash, Cheeky For A Reason rides in on a wave of indie riffs and classic harmonies. And I'm happy to report that The View, more or less, succeed in their odd goal.
"How Long" gets this 4th record off to a rollicking start. Drummer Steven Morrison drives the song forward like a herd of horses over a cliff. The harmonies are tight and the tune cruises by on a strong melodic wave.
"AB (We Need Treatment") and "Hold On Now" bring back The View sound from the first record. The ramshackle rambunctiousness is gone (a bit) but it's been replaced by swagger and confidence; the group sound like mid-period Supergrass here and that's surely something to be applauded.
"Anfield Road" is a bit close to Arctic Monkeys and "Bullet" does indeed have a Fleetwood Mac bit of business buried in the mix -- that Lindsey Buckingham-style guitar line.
"Bunker (Solid Ground)" is a nice surprise. Mixing the sort of melody heard on the 2nd View album with supple musicianship and nice production, the tune is a catchy little pick-me-up of a track.
After the "Piano Interlude", things are back to bouncy indie pop with the skanking "Hole in the Bed", all (well-produced) runs on templates laid down earlier by acts like Madness and The Specials.
"Sour Little Sweetie" is this year's "Wasted Little DJs". It is, easily, the highlight of this record. It's punchy, catchy, and an insanely infectious little hard riff-rocker. Quite simply, it's my favorite tune from The View's 2012 album and the equal of anything on the first album.
"Lean On My World" has a bit more of that Supergrass sound but it's mixed with polish and a sort of radio friendly vibe. It's a bit brash but it's still the sort of thing you'd expect to hear in heavy rotation on U.K. radio. And I mean that in the best possible way.
"Tacky Tattoo" brings back the Tom Waits-meets-Kurt Weill melody style we heard on the 2nd album. It's a haunting number that recalls Arctic Monkeys' mainman Alex Turner's songs for 2010's Submarine.
Cheeky For A Reason is a remarkably solid record. If it's not quite as spirited as the early View stuff, that's okay. The guys are a bit older now. The songs are constructed with care -- a rare thing these days -- and it's a consistent affair with no real dud in the mix. The View manage to take a few familiar elements and make something fresh out of them. The band now has a distinct sound and on Cheeky For A Reason that sound encompasses more influences and a few new styles.
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