NME New Music Tour

The Long Blondes + ¡Forward Russia! + The Automatic + Boy Kill Boy - May 2006
Images: © 2006 Stuart Leech
Written by Armchair Anarchist

The Long Blondes have a sleazy West Coast new-wave sound, complete with oh-so-kooky female vocals. There’s a rockabilly vibe to some of their set, but the dynamics are obvious and clichéd. This monotony isn’t helped by the samey vocals, and they’re lacking ideas. They’re nowhere near as art-school as they’d like to be. ¡Forward Russia! suffer from the opposite problem. They’re trying far too hard to be clever, with a big collage of discord and randomness. This wall of noise is topped off by vocals that sound like Justin Hawkins on a ketamine binge. There are some interesting ideas in the mix, but they get lost in the sea of histrionic oddness. The good bits are brilliant, but the other 75% is almost unlistenable. The Automatic are cheesy pop dressed up as new-wave cleverness, but the clothes don’t fit. They’re tight and energetic with great stage presence. But regrettably they only have one song, and it’s not a particularly inspiring one either. Dull tunes performed perfectly - tall on talent, short on style. Headliners Boy Kill Boy are the only act with any real balls to their music, but that’s only by comparison to the others. By not trying too hard, they succeed in being much more enjoyable. Their song-writing acknowledges the value of good hooks and catchy choruses, and they have great audience rapport. It’s limpid but listenable guitar pop, held together by attention to detail and bold structure. The Radio 2 play-list beckons.

¡Forward Russia!