We Are Standard
Obviously not ones to big themselves up, We Are Standard have sadly proven to define their name with the release of their self-titled second studio album, which sees the Spanish equivalent of Franz Ferdinand (with an added electro pinch of LCD Soundsystem) cook up a 3-star audio meal that hasn’t got quite enough salt in, leaving the record with a fairly bland aftertaste.
The fivesome are a fusion of electro-wobble headed rock that finds comfort in the kind of repetition which isn’t too far off hypnosis. ‘Other Lips, Other Kisses’ and latest single ‘The Last Time’ eagerly wave the hypnotist’s pocket watch and send you into a rhythmic slumber, with the focus more on the tik tok strum of the guitar and bass than the vocals of frontman Deu Txakartegi. This ‘theme’ as it were continues throughout the record, with only ‘Bye Bye Bye’ and the ‘The Present’ daring to stray away from the formula that bagged the boys an award for ‘Best Spanish Band’ at the MTV European Music Awards. Well I guess Las Ketchup must have been washing their hair or something.
Although the album was produced by Gang of Four’s Andy Gill who’s twiddled knobs for the likes of the Futureheads and The Young Knives, there seems to be a definite lack of diversity on the record, with each track melting into another like bars of soap in a microwave. This is more surprising considering that We Are Standard was also mastered by the experienced hands of Simon Davy, who’s clientele has included the Scissor Sisters, Amy Winehouse and the mighty Depeche Mode. The presence of only nine tracks on the album may have something to do with it, which, come to think of it, might actually be a good thing – any more and the repetition would be overwhelming. Oh well, at least they’re consistent I suppose.