Thee Spivs - The Crowds and The Sounds

11 tracks? Done and dusted in under 32 minutes? It's as if Thee Spivs were making albums with us - and anyone else with no attention span - in mind. For album number three, Ben Edge has slowed things down a little but if you liked their authentic take on new wave and pub rock before, The Crowds and The Sounds more than repays that loyalty.

Whether it's the affectionate tribute to their previous bassist ('When Mickey Pearce Waved Goodbye') or the sharp dose of reality that is 'Straight Out of Art School', Edge follows in the footsteps of those particularly London voices that run from Ray Davies through to Dan Treacy and beyond - never more so than on the driving title track with its images of homelessness and Thameside rat population. The (mostly) acoustic 'Weathered Men' is a sardonic stab ("It's PC this and PC that") at the narrow minds of the little Englanders that so riled Paul Weller more than a generation ago, and while Thee Spivs will be too stuck in the late 70s for many, they do it with a wit and flair that's fun while it lasts.



out of 10

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