Album Reviews

The Fondas – Dirty Kicks

(Level Sound) UK release date: 17 April 2006

It’s a nice variation to have a new band eagerly awaiting the imminentrelease of their debut album, whose name you haven’t already got bored ofhearing before actually hearing any songs, and who haven’t been hyped halfway up their own arses before they’ve decided on the name of their debutalbum.

Ladies and gentleman, this is The Fondas, the latest band spewed from thecreative belly of Bristol’s rock scene. A guitar/bass/drums four-piece,Little Kicks is their debut LP, and it opens with the forthcoming debut single D’ya Feel Lucky? Animpish little beast, it begins serene and tranquil before distorting intoboisterous guitar driven mentalness. Two minutes passes, it finishes, and nooffence has been caused.

However, by Only Love Is Left Alive it’s becoming clear that this bandare punching well above their weight. Said song sounds like the school bandrocking their local town hall and thinking they’re the fucking balls. It’sa bit crap, and it’s a bit annoying.

It may come as a surprise then that there have indeed beenRadiohead comparisons, and, in a way, they’re just (if you’ll excusethe pun). Dirty Kicks sounds like Pablo Honey’s bottom of the class,melodically impaired little brother. There’s just no imagination orcreativity in the song writing.

A far bigger problem is the fact that vocalist Andy Ward really can’tsing and much of the time sounds more like he’s in pain than ventingsumptuous rhapsody. Add to that painfully average lyricism and he’s notreally the most appetising front man, but I don’t know; maybe he looks reallycool… When aloft this rather manky cake you place the cherry of shaky andbland production the end result renders Dirty Kicks something you shouldprobably avoid.

Always Never is slightly redeeming: featuring drumming from Steve Eyers,it is little short of awesome. To be fair, he is very good throughoutDirty Kicks, relentlessly pushing an encouraging and strong rhythm. Otherslightly better than lowlights include Sleep, Mamas Arms, and the guitars onGet Out, which is eventually embarrassingly tarnished by bad lyrics. In the end, it’s not enough. The Fondas really do sound like a school band of 14 yearolds who have just got very, very lucky.

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