Peter Steward's Web Site


Home Page Music Reviews Book Reviews Biography My Writing Sign Guestbook Contact Me

 The View

British rock group

Studio Albums

Hats off to the Buskers (2007)

Which Bitch (2009)




The View

Hats Off to the Buskers - 3.5

Comin Down/ Superstar Tradesman/ Same Jeans/ Don't Tell Me/ Shag Trendy/ The Don/ Face for the Radio/ Wasted Little DJs/ Grans for Tea/ Dance into the Night/ Claudia/ Street Lights/ Wasteland/ Typical Time

It might comes as some surprise to learn that this debut album from Scottish outfit The View was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. It might be even more of a surprise to know that they were touted in certain quarters as the next best thing. On the evidence of their debut album this was a case of over-egging. Yes they are pretty tight, yes they can rock, but it sadly sounds like a bunch of adolescents trying desperately to bring some originality to things but not really succeeding. It starts with a screech of feedback and a solid rocker in Comin Down. It's all post punk angst and continues along the same lines for a while with Same Jeans sounding uncannily like Corner Shop's Brimful of Asha. Not until The Don do we get a hint of subtlety and then perhaps there is just too much difference between the power rock and the whimsy. The remainder of the album treads a similar path which just leaves you thinking So What.


Which Bitch - 5

Typical Time 2/ 5Rebbeccas/ One Off Pretender/ Unexpected/ Temptation Dice/ Glass Smash/ Distant Doubloon/ Jimmy's Crazy Conspiracy/ Covers/ Double Yellow Lines/ Shock Horror/  Realisation/ Give Back the Sun/ Gem of a Bird.

This is an improvement on the first album but still seems to lack originality, although I do have more than a sneaking like of Distant Doubloon which is a weird song that manages to sound like a Sting effort. There are hints of classical music here as the band seem to be mounting more of a charm offensive. Again it doesn't quite come off. Covers features Paolo Nutini and a strange trumpet arrangement that at least challenges the sensibilities. Somehow there seems to be a hint of Caribbean tempo to the songs and Kyle Falconer seems stuck somewhere between his true Scottish accent and some more eclectic vocals. This is in no way a bad album, but it is scarcely going to set the world alight.