Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Swing Youth - Jennifer/Hey Keith

Who’d have thought that it’d be possible for music to be simultaneously both incredibly catchy but utterly unremarkable? Somehow Swing Youth have managed to straddle this strange gorge with considerable ease on this double A-side, the follow up to their debut single 'Blade of Grass'.

'Jennifer' is the better of the two tracks, and it begins well with a bouncy upbeat introduction and some creative high-tempo riffs that you can’t help but want to dance to. Unfortunately the lyrics, which appear to be about meeting a girl online, aren’t nearly as interesting as the melodies. The main hook consists of vocalist Dave Channel repeating mumbling “Jenny’s here again” while lyrics like “I feel locked up, I feel left out, I feel messed up, I feel afraid” just scream cliché. The tune may be catchy and bubbly but boring lyrics and dull subject matter obscure the potential Swing Youth demonstrate with this one.

The four-piece follow a similar pattern with the second track of this release, 'Hey Keith'. The effervescent baseline is the best part of this one although the lively harmonised backing vocals also deserve a mention. Unfortunately, Channel’s mockney vocals are less pleasing on the ear and the drawl in which they’re delivered ultimately means the lyrics of 'Hey Keith' are as unmemorable as those of 'Jennifer'. It’s possible to forget this one as abruptly as the track itself ends.

These lads from Watford can obviously play their instruments well and do demonstrate an ability to deliver the sort of indie-pop that will get audiences dancing at live shows. However, there also needs to be some substance infused with the style and unless Swing Youth can inject some creativity into their lyrics it’ll be difficult for them to draw in the crowds they’ll need to succeed.

(Originally written for Gobshout and Released through Bloody Awful Poetry on March 25th)

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