When you think that Scissor Sisters and Sugarbabes have produced two of the most popular and critically acclaimed pop albums of the last couple of years, it is perhaps surprising that so few similar groups have followed in their electro-pop, extra-cool footsteps. What Are You Waitin' For? presents the case for Earl, a Manchester based quartet, to do just that.
What Are You Waitin' For? fizzes with synth, a rattling drum beat and the vocals of Ruth Gardner, who (by the sounds of her) is full of the exuberance and attitude of Gwen Stefani. The tune and the lyrics brim with confrontational menace making for an interesting and very appealing package which would deliver a kick up the arse to even the most sluggish dancefloor. It all ends far too quickly, melting down into overdriven guitar frenzy - a near perfect, three minute slice of sheer pop class. The b-side, Safe, offers a sunnier, more relaxed feel, with plaintive, touching lyrics - and whilst quite different to What Are You Waitin' For? is almost its equal.
So there you have it, Earl deserve far more fame, airplay and attention than they are currently receiving, no doubt about it, they deserve to be big. Here is a group balancing sugary sensibilities and real credibility - the result is some of the finest pop music I've heard in a long time.