The Invasion Of... - 373
Gary Powell must surely be thinking third time's the charm with his latest band The Invasion Of... but, on the evidence of their debut mini-album 373, it's hard to see them experiencing even the short-time success of Dirty Pretty Things, let alone the cult heroics of The Libertines. Fortunately he hasn't decided to go with a Libs clone as The Invasion Of... reside within Humbug era Arctic Monkeys and while there are some nice touches - the ska meets psychedelic guitars of 'Memories' - there's not enough of them to make a satisfying whole. It doesn't really help that everything is done at a similar tempo which, combined with the fact that all but one of the six tracks last around four minutes, makes proceedings drag slightly and is likely to send the listener into musical stupor rather than a trippy heaven. When a welcome change of pace comes with the ferocious punk of 'Pedantic Romantic', it also serves to confirm something you suspect from the very start: the vocalist just isn't good enough. Messrs Doherty and Barat may not have been the most accomplished vocalists but they had power and character whereas Robin Coombes just can't keep up with the pace or grab the attention, perhaps not surprisingly given his background in hip hop. 373 isn't a dreadful listen but neither is it the calling card of a band that are set for indie greatness.