Is there a band more generous than the Infadels? If there is, I’m first in the queue to meet them. With Christmas coming early to London’s Oxford Street this week, the band threw �2,000 off the top of a Routemaster bus as part of the elaborate promotion for their latest single. Free things for poor people, indeed.
Anyone who picked up a tenner in the ensuing scrum will have done wisely if they’ve saved it to invest in the band’s new album, for Universe In Reverse finds them brim full of confidence, rousing the spirit with strong choruses and uplifting sentiments.
This could be interpreted as the band’s bid for the mainstream. Previously known to loiter on the edge of a club night playing Daft Punk and the like, they’ve turned up the volume on the guitar amps and beefed up the drums, adding substantial body to their sound.
Crucially they have the choruses to match their assertive pose. Make Mistakes is one of the best new songs you’ll have heard on radio this year, lyrically and emotionally driven. Free Things For Poor People is a grower, initially coming across as a semi-protest song that lacks a bit of subtlety but eventually winding up as a genuine anthem for the horror known as the credit crunch.
As ever front man Bnann provides plenty of charisma, his wiry vocals instantly recognisable. At times the danger is his wiry vocal could get swamped by the guitars but this is mostly kept in check, though the rhythmic edges have been trimmed a little, possibly with the radio in mind. His remains a keenly felt voice however. Behind him the more powerful production occasionally brings to mind the Killers on a good day, with the use of keyboards on Play Blind drawing those parallels.
Infadels haven’t completely renounced their electro heritage however, and the synthesizers of Code 1 glint at the edges. Don’t Look Behind You, meanwhile, adds an important quieter element to put the big boned anthems into perspective as it floats through space.
With Youth at the controls, Infadels have made a summer album that’s up for it, a record to throw open the windows to and sing along with. Try this for weeks, and you still won’t be bored of it!