White Rose Movement - Kick
Fads are an interesting thing. Twelve months ago, the debut album from these East Anglians, White Rose Movement, would have probably fitted right in - similar to other 80's influenced bands like The Bravery and The Killers who were riding high in the charts, playing to packed out audiences at some impressive venues and events. Have WRM missed the boat or starting something new?
For starters they're a little more edgy than the rather "easy listening" take on the 80's provided by The Killers and The Bravery, there's a touch of something darker just bubbling under the surface. Whereas the others may have name checked the mainstream singles machines that were Duran Duran and Aha, these guys have looked slightly further afield. You can hear echoes of Flock Of Seagulls and Human League at their more serious. Recruiting Paul "I've produced everything in the NME for the last 12 months" Epworth was a brave move - he's certainly made his influence felt on the recent indie music scene, but this is certainly something a little different for him. The sound is very sharp, compact and packs a punch (it works exceedingly well when played loud) but it can err on the metallic side which begins to grate over the entire album. There's also a certain attitude boiling under the surface as well - the entire album is carried off with a "greater than thou" air about it - these guys take what they're doing seriously and maybe that's their greatest downfall, there's no chance for respite here, they come at you 100 mph, not letting off until your ears are bleeding and your mind has been wiped and replaced with the sounds of synthesizers echoing to infinity.
But don't let this put you off, the tracks (and recent singles) Love Is A Number, Alsatian and Girls In The Back are the true highlights - spinning together strands of the Joy Division and Duran Duran back catalogue to create a hulking beast that demands your attention and maybe, just maybe, putting to rest that nagging doubt in the back of your mind that these guys may have just missed the boat.