When Scouse retro rockers The Zutons first burst on to the scene at the arse-end of 2004 with their boisterous debut, Who Killed… The Zutons?, some folk were taken by surprise.
**Note: This is an archived post originally posted on Big Yawn music back in 2006**
Mixing drunken sing-a-longs with rabble rousing choruses, migraine inducing sax and a dragged-through-a-hedge-backwards image, these offbeat oddities seemed a million miles away from the middle-of-the-road drivel being made immensely popular by the likes of Coldplay, Snow Patrol and Keane. Thus, they were surely doomed to fade back into obscurity.
Thanks in no small part to indie club anthem You Will You Won’t and a sax player (Abi Harding) who wasn’t too harsh on the eyes, The Zutons struck a chord with a music-buying public fed up of being bored to tears by formulaic Brit Pap.
Two years later, and it seems that the intervening time hasn’t been wasted by the lairy Liverpudlians. Having been given a chance by music fans, Dave McCabe et al have looked to eradicate any weak spots and deliver a thank-you letter to those who propelled them into the UK’s musical elite. The resulting album, Tired of Hanging Around, does not disappoint, and makes for a less congested, easier to digest slice of feel-good indie.
Harding’s sax has been considerably toned down, giving way for more of McCabe’s melodic vocal stylings and allowing rythym and structure to overthrow the chaotic vibes that had a tendency to overshadow their debut. Together, such things make for a much tighter album, with a greater emphasis on solid rock ‘n’ roll influences from the past and present.
Opening track Tired of Hanging Around could easily have been dragged forth from the days of Glam gone by, whilst hit single Valerie is probably the sort of thing fellow Liverpudlians The Beatles would have been knocking out if they were around today.
Meanwhile, earlier single Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love is as modern as it gets, and would probably be mistaken for one of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s lighter moments were it not for the scouse accent.
There’s the occasional nod to The Rolling Stones and sundry other British institutions on this typically British album that will be perhaps be revered as one of the quintessential British albums in years to come.
However, that’s not to say it’s the most brilliant release in the world. For whilst there is a wealth of solid song-writing skills on display and a plethora of catchy, memorable tunes, there’s just nothing here that immediately strikes you as the next Satisfaction or Sympathy for The Devil.
What there is though, is a vast improvement on their debut, making Tired of Hanging Around a worthy purchase for any fan of rambunctious, good-time tunes that piss on the smouldering bonfires of tiresome bores such as Coldplay et al.