There's been a trend as of late among American bands to become popular by sounding British, most notably The Killers, The Bravery and Interpol. This isn't always a bad thing - it started out almost clever and cute, like in the 60's when all these American groups were trying to cash in on The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. But in 2006, the novelty's worn off and the listener has become more jaded. Less'un they're Josh Groban fans. Have you ever talked to one of those people? Jesus, they're queer. They have this glazed look in their eye like the look your friend that sells Amway gets when they ask you what kind of floor cleaner you're currently using. But I digress... Bottom-line, if you're going to ride a country's coattails, at least be able to deliver the goods, however tattered and derivative they may be.
Well, Cherubs sound British, but that's because they are. Don't you see? They're pulling the old switcheroo on us. We sit here thinking - "These guys have London accents, so they must be from New York, thus making them cool and hip, but no! Clever little blighters.
Uncovered by Heartbeat is a "pretty good" album. The only thing that stops it from being a "damn good" album is that I've heard it all from culture-raping Americans for the last five years. Bear in mind though - I'm one of those aforementioned "jaded" listeners that I mentioned before. Some would argue even more jaded than most. That's what's really unfortunate about this album. It's full of almosts. They have songs that are catchy when you hear them, but immediately forget what they sound like when they're over, thus making them almost catchy. They're almost like The Hives but less cool. Almost like The Strokes but less garage-y. Almost like The Killers but less keyboards, although vocalist Staale Bruland has a tendency to really sound like Brandon Flowers who in turn, really sounded like what Ian Curtis would have sounded like had Zoloft been around in 1980.
Kicking off the album is oddly enough the weakest song - a shitty little ditty called "Telepathy," a groove-by-numbers song that only hints at the promise that rest of the album shows but ultimately never delivers. (Inner Monologue: It occurs to me that I seem to recall using the last four words frequently in recent reviews. A fact would possibly make me weep for the future were I not too lazy to research if I am, in fact, correct). I at first found it odd that in the band's bio they even have a "recommended tracks" list, in this case being the songs "You Stay I Leave," "9 * Out of Ten", and "Hey Bunny," which seemed to say "these songs are good but the rest of the album is shit" and therefore negating any integrity the band may have as a serious artist. Then I listened to the album and goddamned, if they weren't right on the money. These are indeed the tracks that I would recommend to my peers if they were ever to ask for an opinion before receiving an unsolicited one.
Look, I pass no judgment. If you're a fan of the faux-Brit rock that I've been rambling about for the last well, what for you must seem like an eternity, you'll probably dig this shit. Go ahead, buy it. Support the band, see if I care. Once you find out they're not from Vegas, you'll probably trade it in anyway.