Sound — 10
Help She Can't Swim are, or were (they've now broken up) an indie band based in Southampton. "Fashionista Super Dance Troupe" was their debut album. And what a debut album. From the word go, HSCS pull out all the stops, and just let themselves run wild. From the moment the opening track "Fermez La Bouche" kicks off ("She knows all the words to the record she's playing, she mouths them to her boyfriend but he's f--king boring, no-one cares about your DJ night, no-one cares about your dj night" followed by a simple but equally addictive guitar riff), Help She Can't Swim are unstoppable. For some it may be a little too much, in a similar way to that annoying girl from school who talked way too fast and never shut up was. But once you learn to cope, and listen without covering your ears, you may find out she's actually damn fun to be around.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are generally very good, but at times a little aggressive ("Shut it, why don't you just f**k off and fermez la f**king bouche?" on "Fermez La Bouche" and "F--k your band, suck our band" on "Are You Feeling Fashionable?"). But you can tell HSCS have a sense of humour: "Bunty vs Beano" ends in a list of celebrities that pairs together Vanessa Phelts with Simon Cowell before ending with the couplet "Ashton Kutcher, Frank B-B-B-B-Butcher!". "My Private Disco", however, shows a more pessimistic, serious side to the band: "I don't want to turn around, in case you disappear and it's the nicest dream, but you were never here."
Overall Impression — 9
As closing track "Apples" comes to an end, we find ourselves listening to female vocalist Leesey downheartedly repeating, over and over again, "maybe it was to be expected". Was it expected that the most in-your-face indie record I've heard for a long, long time would end in such a quiet, pessimistic manner? No. But I love this album all the more for it, just when you think you've got that annoying girl figured out, you may one day take a step back and realise that maybe, just maybe, she's not that bad after all.