Too soon to harvest

first_imgToo Soon MonsoonWheatusOut 21 November”Who are Wheatus?” you might ask. Well, once upon a time (in fact, back in the days when GCSEs were still a worrying prospect) Wheatus briefly bothered the charts with the single Teenage Dirtbag. Don’t pretend you don’t remember it, because you know very well that the painful memory of that song will be with you forever. Ttragically, after reaching the dizzy heights of singles chart success with their debut offering, the story took a turn for the worse. The band’s profile rapidly declined, with the result that they were dropped by Sony-Columbia Records two years ago. Too Ssoon Monsoon, the group’s third album, was therefore entirely produced by lead singer and songwriter Brendan Brown and will be released through a small independent label.Not that Brown is bitter of course, what with developing a new range of “Suck Fony” merchandise and singing about corporate dominance. Those evil executives at the record companies get a very bad press generally, and there are plenty of examples of record bosses destroying artistic freedom and overlooking true musical genius. Fair play to them though, sometimes their judgements are spot on. The artistic freedom which Brown seems to have been demanding from his old label is the freedom to continue writing mediocre pop-rock and get paid for it, and now he has just that. Oh, and he whacks in the odd swear word, just to make it clear that he has, you know, strong feelings. Aall in all there is nothing offensively bad about Wwheatus’ music, it’s just unforgiveably bland. Ppropelled mostly by simple guitar riffs, the more upbeat songs are reasonable but instantly forgettable, such as the opener Something Good. But these louder songs do provide a good showcase for one of the bands’ main assets, their female backing singers. Eeasily the most irritating thing about is Brown’s nasal whine, and so the harmonies provided on the big choruses are a welcome relief. Iin fact Who Would Have Thought? is possibly the best song on the album, probably because it was written and sung by backing singer Katherine Froggatt without Brown’s intrusion.Regrettably, further attempts to expand the group’s sound have resulted in the appearance of some highly dodgy, Wwurlitzer-style organ effects, the main offender being The London Sun, which sounds like a Rrobbie Wwilliams song being spat out by a funfair.Brown’s songwriting does seem to approach genuine subtlety and emotionin its quieter moments, such as at the start of Hometown, a song about New York and the aftermath of Sseptember 11. But it is just too difficult to identify or sympathise with a voice that is so relentlessly annoying. Being a Wwheatus fan obviously requires a lot of hard work and dedication.Too Soon Monsoon will probably not be easy to find: it’s hard to imagine something this drenched in mediocrity album flying off the shelves without any press coverage or promotion. Hhowever, the band are threatening to tour sometime in the new year, so Wheatus fans will soon get their fix in person. Ssurely there must be some Wheatus fans left, mustn’t there?ARCHIVE: 6th week MT 2005last_img

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