|The debut album release from this
Leeds based five-piece band entitled Cynical Smile certainly makes you grin -
well actually its probably more of a smirk
Their rough mix of glittering rock
n roll and plastic punk ventures a less than serious assault on the music world and
maybe its one that most will just treat with contempt?
Re-treading the ground done to death by The Wildhearts years ago, this glitzy rock n roll does have a slight punk-lite/new wave undercurrent (particularly at times with the vocal delivery) which is mixed with a more staid Indie style and very rarely gets any heavier than that. At best its incredibly ordinary and unspectacular but at its worse we are talking intensely cheesy and just plain awful.
Sinner is an example of the latter, displaying some first class cheese - its a horrible track complete with fake American accents and cliché lyrics - you just find yourself wanting to switch it off. The third track 21st Century Beatnik Baby! gets a little better with its pop-rock, punk-lite Babylon Zoo feel but things really get bad with the next song Rock 'N' Roll Cliché. This is their premier tongue-in-cheek track that boasts the classic lyrics "she wears no knickers when shes on the floor" in a song that seems to be taking the piss out of themselves. In fact it successfully sums up this band - tacky and cringe-worthy, uninspiring, tired and yes cliché.
On the positive, Strange Beauty, No Feelings and Borders Of My Mind, while not being anything more than ordinary, all show a more developed and solid side to the band, examining commercial pop-rock with far more enthusiasm and substance. Pure offers a radio friendly Indie sound that could even make a half-decent single, but that really is as good as it gets.
An album split between fairly ordinary but listeneble songs and incredibly tongue-in-cheek cliché howlers, that make for an uncomfortable mix. Either way its difficult to give them much respect. Let this be a warning to you - this is the sort of stuff that gets produced when a musical scene is getting very, very staleRigsby (19th January, 2003)