|Thunder Lightning Strike||2004||2.59/pi|
This one of those records that exist to fill a previously unfilled niche. At some point, someone realized: “Hey! There’s never been an indie rock band that sounds like the Jackson 5 hired as cheerleaders by Joe Meek!” And so they formed one. And now such a thing exists. So does this ethnically diverse, multi-national band transcend its own high-concept sound? The answer here is: no. This is what it is, and that’s all it is.
The good news is, it lives up to the promise of infectious teaser singles “Junior Kickstart” and “The Power Is On”. It’s all executed with grace and enthusiasm, and enough stylistic variance to keep things from descending into formula. Assuming you can get past the basic sound without screaming “gimmick!” (many won’t) you should find all of these tracks enjoyable in their way, with simple, catchy riffs, 70s action hero brass, and an atmosphere of bright and shiny urban decay. Watch these lads & ladies: if their songcraft matures further on their future material, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.