Punk A Go-Go
The Paddingtons are one of those bands that have managed to be the centre of a burgeoning scene without really being all that well known yet, so this debut album will really prove whether they're just being carried along by their reputation, or are the leaders of the pack.
First track 'Some Old Girl' is instantly burning up with dirty blazing guitars, anthemic riffs and catchy vocals, a real attention-grabber that catapults you into The Paddingtons' world of fast-paced rock n'roll. 'First Comes First' is a perfect explanation of how these Yorkshire boys got roped in to support the Babyshambles circus; it features those cocky, self interested vocals that need no concern for precision that make the scene-meister Doherty so well loved. They're the kind of band that seem to love to cause a stir and are full of lithe, restless energy that makes you itch for the tiny venue in the back of some English pub that's full of sweaty teenagers.
The thrashing sound of '50 to a £' could really get a crowd gyrating, but there's something so essentially 'scene' about the spelling of the title that it makes me a little agitated, is being a successful band really just about writing in a cool way and looking like the boys next door that formed a band in their living room? If it is, then The Paddingtons' marketing has definitely paid off, although thankfully tunes like 'Panic Attack' that are packed with get up and groove riffs prove they're also a viable source of gushing indie energy.
The jangly refrain, "they told me everything she knows" of 'Worse For Wear' begins to sound very much like the sparkly tunes of The Killers, but sung by guys in tshirts and jeans rather than Brandon Flowers' fancy suits. The tracks aren't the kind that you can pinpoint extra-special qualities on, but more the kind that leap out and strike you down as one effusive vibrant creation; still, 'Tommy's Disease' deserves a mention for its smart, punk Doc Marten-tapping chorus.
'Stop Breathing' begins with an intro of particularly snazzy and anachronistic guitar riffs that rub the vocals up perfectly to create a raw and exciting tune. 'Alright In The Morning' takes a lazy reggae style guitar hook for its kooky, slightly mellower verse; this is a perfect break from the previous incendiary rock tunes. 'Sorry' is a pure punk dream with jerky riffs, little whoops and simple, but memorable lyrics.
The Paddingtons prove that punk is not dead, it's just merely evolved into something far more funky, commercially viable but still just as down to earth and brash as it always was. 'First Come First' is full of a compulsive energy that really makes The Paddingtons stand out, forget the cynicism, this is one band that really are worth the hype.