Tumbling through the letterbox at Bluesbunny Towers came the new album for Edinburgh popsters Dropkick. Now we like Dropkick as they do a nice line in very clever pop songs. The kind of songs that you can hum and sing along with as you do the ironing whilst considering the lyrics.
The title track of this album is a delightful summery pop confection that echoes the harmonies of the Beach Boys and the Eagles. In fact, it has that whole warm summer summed up in 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Works for us. One of the other highlights of the album is "Backdoor Key". Roy W Taylor takes the lead here and, as with many of his compositions, he balances the sugar with a touch of bitterness and sarcasm. "You Didn't Make It" is fairly standard Dropkick fare distinguished by those tight sibling harmonies. You really have to admire the lyrical sensibilities of this band as few - if any - other bands have the imagination to include phrases like "… tried to sell his soul on EBay but the Devil wouldn't meet the reserve" (from "Figure It Out"). Even that culinary delicacy better known as the donner pizza gets mentioned. Class!
Of the rest of the songs, "Crazy Conversation" seemed less of a Dropkick song and, given its lightweight sound, seemed rather more of an Ally Kerr song. Neatly executed, it was nonetheless the weakest song of the album. "Girlfriend" was altogether darker and brooding taking things more towards Gram Parsons rather than the Beach Boys or the Housemartins. Definitely the sort of song that sticks with you. Rounding things off on an uplifting note is the altogether fluffier "Good Vibes".
So there is nothing really wrong with the songs on this album. In fact, there are some cracking small scale epics on the miserable averageness of life. However, a bit more variety would have been welcome in the arrangements and production as several of the songs seem to lack life and might therefore not catch the attention of the average punter. Now, that would be a real shame as there is so much here to enjoy.