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Ordinary Boys - The Ordinary Boys

  by Fiona Hutchings

published: 23 / 10 / 2015

Ordinary Boys - The Ordinary Boys
Label: Treat Yourself Records
Format: CD


Enjoyable first album in a decade from the Ordinary Boys, which finds them still not having entirely shaken off the Madness associations of the past yet also having moved on

Mention The Ordinary Boys and invariably the words 'Big Brother', 'Chantelle' and 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks' will follow. Maybe that's why the band has been on hiatus for nearly ten years, in the hope that they can release this album without being dragged down into their past. Sorry. In my defence most of my interest in the band actually stems from the fact that they cited Madness as an influence. I'm actually quite sad to hear front man Preston describe their third album, 2006's 'How to Get Everything You Want in Ten Easy Steps, as "questionable." I love that album and the Madness influence is very obvious. If you doubt me then YouTube 'Ordinary Boys vs Madness: Ordinary Trousers'. Don't worry, I can wait while you do so. On to this new album then. The first single 'Four Letter Word' has been compared to their 2004 debut single 'Over the Counter Culture', and since the four piece includes the original trio of Preston, James Gregory (bass) and Charlie 'Chuck' Stanley (drums) that's not really a surprise. They've been joined by Louis James of the Spectrals on guitar, and it is an addition that brings with it a more overtly guitar driven sound than featured on their last album. 'Four Letter Word' sounds like a pissed-off love song. 'Cruel' has the odd moment of respite from thrashy power chords but through it all Preston's vocals remain their usual polished and smooth self. 'Panic Attack' is far too cheerful a tune for the lyrics. (I'm trying really hard not to make the comparison to Madness's 'Cardiac Arrest' which does exactly the same thing. Oh, I failed.) 'Do or Die' surely has second single written all over it. It's got that radio friendly hook than means you are humming it by the end of your first listen. 'Almost Ready' would benefit from a couple of layers of sound being peeled away. It's hard to hear the lyrics at least to start with. The album closes with 'Disposable Anthem' which really grows on you. It's a slower pace and at four minutes eighteen the longest track on the album. This time the layers of vocals, backing and guitar are more skilfully mixed, so that there is no loss of clarity and instead the song feels like it has the time it needs to develop. Overall this is a solid and more mature album. There is no one track that grabs you in the way 'Boys Will Be Boys' did in 2006 and that laddish, cheeky vibe has gone, but in it's place we have music with more weight and staying power. No track here immediately lends itself to a mash up with any other artist, and in terms of originality that's a good thing. The single 'Four Letter Word' is out now and the band have announced a twenty-five date UK tour taking place this October and November.

Track Listing:-
1 About Tonight
2 Awkward
3 Four Letter Word
4 I’m Leaving You (And I’m Taking
5 Losing My Cool
6 Cruel
7 Panic Attack
8 Do or Die
9 Almost Ready
10 Putting My Heart On the Line
11 Disposable Anthem
12 Heard You Wanna Beat Me Up
13 Creep On Me

Band Links:-

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live reviews

Night and Day, Manchester, 8/11/2015
Ordinary Boys - Night and Day, Manchester, 8/11/2015
At the Night and Day Café in Manchester, Dixie Ernill finally gets to see the Ordinary Boys perform live over ten years after they first caught his ear, but whilst he can confirm they are no longer boys he finds them ordinary

digital downloads



Boys Will Be Boys (2006)
Catchy pop on single from Brighton's the Ordinary Boys, who have been thrust into instant fame after frontman Preston's appearance on Big Brother
Maybe Someday (2004)

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