Listening to the infectious post-punk pop of the Five O’Clock Heroes recalls a time, back in the late ‘70s, when the Cars were the young gods of the airwaves and Elvis Costello was still pumping it up. Needless to say, then, that this Anglo-American quartet likes to keep things raucous, jerky and button-tight on their debut album. And with a catchy powerpop bombardment of 14 tracks full of jagged guitar lines and pounding beats, the fun never stops. The downside to all this is that unlike their rough-hewn New York neighbours the Yeah, Yeah Yeahs, the band never quite sound fresh enough to transcend their influences. Even after repeat listens you catch yourself searching for the source as the New Wave spirit of Joe Jackson looms large on tunes like opener “Head Games” and “Stay the Night”, while the off-kilter chords on “Time on My Hands” evoke early Police, or is it Men at Work. However, catch them live and they’ll surely turn you into a sweaty, dancing heap.
// Notes from the Road
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