Applicants – Life In The Bus Lane
I want to love this album, I really do. It’s absolutely bursting with ideas, humour and fun, but therein lies its downfall. ‘Life In The Bus Lane’ reminds me of one of those ‘Tigger’ people, brimming with energy but never seeing things through to the end. There comes a point when you just want the band to stay their hand from the button marked ‘quirky’ and see one of their ideas out.
The band flit from punky, catchy Indie hooks to pounding techno beats in the blink of an eye. Opener ‘Crappuccino’ comes charging in with a spiky riff and quickly veers off again. ‘He’s The Man’ has a great catchy chorus, another big riff and then unexpected dance bass drums from nowhere. It’s almost like they’re trying too hard to be different, to find a USP. Unfortunately, while it’s fun for a track or so, it becomes wearisome over the course of a whole album.
‘Pocket Dictionary’ is another great example, a cracking little pop tune that for some reason develops a drum’n’bass beat two thirds of the way through the song. It’s almost like they can’t help themselves, like kids in a sweet shop and the owner’s popped out the back for a minute.
The only conclusion is the Applicants suffer from some sort of collective ADHD. There are seeds of so many good ideas scattered throughout the record, but none are allowed to come to fruition. I have high hopes for this band, they certainly have talent and they have ideas in abundance, all they need is a small dose of restraint to apply to their youthful exuberance.
Top Tracks: ‘He’s The Man’, ‘Pocket Dictionary’, ‘Times New Roman’.
Released 04/08/2008 on TigerTrap Records