Sound: A friend of mine recommended this album to me when I asked him for some good pop-rock I could listen to, you know, something in the same vein Bowling For Soup. I can honestly say I haven't spoken to that friend for a month, and this alone is the reason why.
I have only chosen to review this as I was clearing out my music library and found this, and out of curiosity wondered if anyone had beaten me to this review, and considering the amount of anger this album inspired when I first listened to it, I'm surprised to be the first here.
It's somewhat incredible that this album has been tagged by a certain internet encyclopaedia with the words "rock" and "indie". This rocks about as much as paper and scissors, and is about as independent as Bieber.
Frontman Roy Stride plods gormlessly along his keyboard to a first grade standard throughout this travesty whilst his nagging voice is complimented by simplistic support from drums, bass and (only just) guitar. This is not me bashing the simplicity of it all, I love a bit of simplicity, but over and over again for 10 tracks? And this is the major fault of the album; play "She's So Lovely", "Heartbeat" and "Elvis Ain't Dead" over one another and they will fit perfectly. It's a wonder they get away with it, even the least musical pop-lover must think something is up.
There is just nothing to say about the sound. Nothing special. Nothing memorable. Nothing even to compare it to. It somehow manages to be dull and annoying at the same time, and for that remarkable achievement Scouting For Girls can have at least 1. // 1
Lyrics and Singing: Ahhh. I thought I'd got past the worst part with the sound. But then there's the lyrics. Roy Stride's words take the listener to a whole new kind of hell; I'm not sure how he contrives to pronounce every letter in the words "beautiful" and "extraordinary" but it's truly painful to experience. And those two words are probably a stretch for Stride; most of the lyrics sound like they've been written in green crayon.
The worst effort here has to be "Elvis Ain't Dead", a half-baked, 4-minute metaphor for denial. The concept is there, it's not a particularly strong one, but unlike most of the others, there is one. The problem is in the execution. If you're going to sing a song called "Elvis Ain't Dead" or even "I Wish I Was James Bond" you must do so with your tongue firmly in your cheek. But no, these guys are serious. This is really intelligent, poetic, meaningful and indecipherable to them. Either that or Roy Stride is trolling for 40 minutes.
So why, I hear you cry, have you awarded the lyrics a two? Because two rhymes with poo, which not only describes what I'd rather have forced down my ears, but is also a rhyme Scouting For Girls would presumably be proud of. // 2
Impression: I've heard some really bad albums in my time. But those albums have been by bands who I know could do better. Scouting For Girls could not do better. You can tell, particularly through the lyrics, that these guys are genuinely trying. Which is a shame. If this was done by a greater band, in a tongue-in-cheek, almost parodying manner, then maybe, just maybe this album would be forgiveable. But alas. The world is stuck with Scouting For Girls, who I hear do have a second album out. On this showing, it's not so much a miracle as a disaster that they got the opportunity to do so; this brand of bullsh-t is surely unsustainable.
Something positive to say about it? The songs may get stuck in your head, an often desirable musical quality. The most desirable thing about Scouting For Girls' music is Alzheimers. // 1