Vega 4 are said to offer much promise. They are, it is said, the new Killers, the new Maxïmo Park. They have supported James Dean Bradfield. So it would be reasonable to be quite excited at the prospect of listening to their album, You and Others.
Never let assumptions guide your judgement. Vega 4 resemble too many other bands that have gone before them. One of the dubious credits of their producer is the ultra-drab stadium-fillers Snow Patrol, and Guy Lightbody’s troupe can be felt over the whole of You And Others.
Nearly every song builds slowly to the big climactic sing-off at the end (pangs of “Light Up! Light Up!” inevitably pass through the mind) in the timeworn tradition of pseudo-indie bands everywhere. There’s plenty of energy in the climax of each song, but elsewhere it is utterly lacking, making the climax nothing more than irritating noise. The lyrics join the melodies, voices and beats of most songs; they are forgettable.
A few songs do break free from the rest of the album, becoming worthy of some attention. Traffic Jam has the beat and simplicity of lyrics to become something of an dance floor anthem, although somehow I doubt it will, as some have claimed, “give the Killers a run for their money.”
Papercuts too transcends the rest of the album with a grandiose, Muse-esque feel to it. Other than these only parts here and there make for any better listening than the rest of the album. It’s never more than okay. Most of the songs trundle along in a nice-enough-if-a-bit-dull kind of way, and a handful standout as something ever so slightly more.
You And Others is the Tim Nice But Dim of albums. I can’t say comparisons to most of the bands they have been compared to are justified, nor can I see the reason for the hype. They seem to be a band that have set out to emulate the success of a plethora of other acts, but have ended up as a strange amalgamation of them – and not a pretty one. Not a band that will remain on the radar for long.