A Lacklustre Performance
You'd think that following the demise of The Libertines, the band without the struggling drug addict would fare better but both Babyshambles and Dirty Pretty Things seem to have gone off the boil a little recently with plenty of mid-afternoon festival performances. I recall the excitement around Dirty Pretty Things' debut, and there's been nothing like that greeting this new release, does anyone care anymore and should they?
'Romance At Short Notice' is a high quality, well-produced indie album full of middle of the road anthems spiced up with jammy riffs, but lacking that poetic edge off The Libertines. It's a boisterous, laddish album that has none of the finesse of Carl Barat's former band, but charges through with rough guitarwork and brash beats.
Opener, 'Buzzards & Crows' is probably one of the most catchy tunes, instantly demonstrating Barat's mastery in creating riffs that root themselves firmly in your brain. 'Kicks or Consumption' is one of the only other tunes that manages to match this cutting edge with its frenzied feel, racing percussion and jagged guitar edges lending for a smouldering chorus.
Single, 'Tired of Single' has a spark of the patriotic rock passion that made bands like The Clash great, but the chorus doesn't meet the demand of the verses sighing, "We'll never be tired of London". The fact that the song peaked at number 54 on the chart probably speaks volumes about it's unexceptional quality and the fact that maybe Britain is tired of these faint echoes of The Libertines' sound. 'Plastik Hearts' is painfully mediocre and could have come from any Scouting For Pigeons type band with a jaunty but unexciting rhythm and melody that starts to grate on your nerves. 'Chinese Dogs' bolshy chant of, "What would it take for me to be your man?" is just an embarrassing show of brash male bravado with no musical subtlety or interest.
Even the soft ballad, 'Faultlines' that's clearly designed to rally listeners round into a swaying chorus, lacks the drive to get anyone to their feet; even the mention of the devil isn't likely to awaken any kind of passion for the song.
'Romance At Short Notice' feels far too samey to excite even the most staunch fans of Carl Barat's work and is only a few steps above the mire of average indie bombarding the charts at the moment, although unfortunately, they've not even managed that much success of the back of this release. The tunes about girls with lipgloss and the like were forgiven back in the day, but these days there's a whole new flock of youngsters talking about hot girls and dancefloors and Dirty Pretty Things need to evolve to prove that they can do more.