The Leeds based four-piece band ‘Club Smith’ – (the band is basically a repackaged version of ‘The Hair’ – circa 2004-2008) release their new album ‘ Appetite for Chivalry’ today. They continue a tour of the UK during the month of November.
The new album starts with the track ‘Mantra’. This contains luminous strings of semi fluid opalescence, that seem to glisten shyly before lusty drums ( Vijay Mistry ) push themselves brazenly forward to take advantage of the space. Sam Robson’s ‘Morrissey’ style vocals are gracious and loquacious, with glowing backing vocals delivered from the other band members (Neil and Lee) and these add warmth and symmetry. Twangs of lusty guitar enfold the verse, and the wandering percussion will keep all heads moving to the dance-floor.
‘No Friends of Mine’ has a rude and fruity guitar accompaniment that squeezes out giant pimples of sound. When this is added to the virile and exciting melody – boosted by the thrusting “So I can look good …” chorus, Club Smith may well remind you of the Kaiser Chiefs. (It’s not a surprising deduction – the band was chosen to support the Kaisers on a recent tour- so the style must have rubbed off. ) In this song, you get a barnstorming anthem of quality and unabashed joy.
‘Beautiful and Useless’ has a fancy pots-and-pans bashing percussion, with some cracking vocal gymnastics. Reflexological guitars place angular pressure on the melody – tenderising the zones and leaving them healed.
‘The System is Flawed’ has a bounteous bass that draws its breath and puffs into your ear. This song blows away the cobwebs with it’s clumpy bumpiness. And it has more sugar-frosting than a packet of magically delicious Lucky Charms. It contains a strange amalgam of ‘80s sounds – ranging from ‘Duran Duran’ patinas, to ‘Tears for Fears’ emotional tension
‘The Green Room’ is another song where the bass plays the part of the plucky hero … arriving on the scene and saving the day. Plunging, thumbing bass lines, and zooming, bruising flumes of sound. But it is the chorus that grabs your ass and directs you onto the dance-floor. Yep, this is one horny swinger of a song. And a playtime hustler. That zinced whistle-stop finale will lush you off your feet.
‘In Arrears’ is a confusion of ideas and daft-as-brainbox sounds. It is ‘s like a bedroom that needs tidying up. It is an over-full sock drawer. And ‘Noncahalant’ has an avalanche of drums and some very sneering vocals. It has a clever chorus that creeps in and surprises you with its insistence.
‘Lament’ limps in, sentimentally and somewhat begrudgingly. A big blousing chorus tries to make amends. But this is one that is strictly for the ladies. Of a certain age.
Then ‘Young Defeatists’ demonstrates Sam’s highly strung vocals – and these are stretched about as tight as a Babestation glamour girl can twist her second thong . That hammering chorus will make you smile, and it will get the crowd clapping merrily along . It’s a party treat, even though it has such an emotionally tense subscript.
‘Appetite for Chivalry’ is a strange collection of sounds and moods. Club Smith doesn’t seem to be able to work out whether they are a girl-friendly eighties Synthpop band or a nineties lads-friendly Post-Britpop stadium band. Either way, they seem slightly anachronistic. But there are moments of genuine perfection in this album, and if you have time to pick over the bones, there are some juicy morsels to find.
Release date – 12th November
– © Neil_Mach November 2012 –
14th November 2012 – The Garage, London
15th November 2012 – Flapper, Birmingham
16th November 2012 – The Compass, Chester
17th November 2012 – Lock 42, Leicester
22nd November 2012 – Cockpit, Leeds
23rd November 2012 – Basement, York