The Ordinary Boys - Life Will Be The Death Of Me (B-Unique)
UK release date: 29 August 2005
With a name that means they already have to go that extra mile to avoid a critical mauling (despite the Morrissey reference), The Ordinary Boys seem to have evolved from Jam wannabes into a full-on ska revival act.
The good thing about revivals is you can inject a contemporary flavour into an old style and give it a whole new edge. Not so lead singer Preston and his merry men - they produce the exact same jolly, jaunty, reggae meets rock music that Madness used to pump out during their eighties heyday. And there's nothing particularly wrong with that - everyone loves doing that knees-up, thumbs-in-braces, elbows-aloft dance that fits the cheeky music so well - it's just nothing new.
Then again, not every band is in the business to break new ground. In fact, many don't seem to mind fitting in to the culture of recycled regurgitation that has seen revival after revival. So what it really comes down to is whether the end product is any good, and in the case of Life Will Be The Death Of Me, the answer is largely positive. As you can probably guess, it's light-hearted in tone, upbeat in style and no doubt a lot of fun to dance to, but it won't re-write the history of rock and roll, or even add an extra apostrophe to it. This offering is alright, okay, and, well, decidedly ordinary.