Cheeky for a Reason
(Cooking Vinyl Records)
Sorry, Fiona Apple, but Scottish rockers The View win my award for best album title of the year so far. To me, it exemplifies this band’s sound: fun, irreverent guitar rock capturing the challenges of modern life.
The View first came to my attention with 2009’s Which Bitch?, which had more of a Celtic folk influence. Frontman Kyle Falconer’s accent is a bit more toned-down on Cheeky for a Reason, but the sound overall is much more polished and focused. The result is as catchy as Franz Ferdinand if they ditched their new wave elements.
Opening track “How Long” is straight out of The Clash’s handbook, right down to the riffs and the catchy chorus. These guys certainly know their way around a three-minute rock song, but they aren’t to be underestimated. “The Clock,” for instance, is a slinky track on which the guitar seems to duet with Falconer, creating a definite Fleetwood Mac vibe. The distorted love/hate ballad, “Hole in the Bed,” could be a Libertines cover.
However, the highlight for me is “Tacky Tattoo.” Cheeky title, yes, but this song is surprisingly simple with its simple keyboard part and raw vocal delivery. For as fun as The View are, there’s real talent to back up that camp attitude.