Three Stars

My first impression of The Ordinary Boys had been their sickly (and irritatingly misspelt, which I’m sure is ironic but annoys me anyway) pop love song ‘I Luv You’ released on their 2007 album. Enough to put me off them for a while, I’ve largely ignored their output, until giving them a second chance with their new eponymous album. Expecting bland pop, imagine my surprise when more than decent indie rock reminiscent of late Blink-182 blared out of my speakers.

Even the dubious-sounding ‘Four Letter Word’ isn’t the icky mess the title may suggest, rather beginning with a soundbite from the 1982 coming-of-age drama Fast Times at Ridgemont High and leading into a classy rock song that wouldn’t sound out of place between The Strokes and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Some of the songs lack the rough and ready touch that made 90s rock so irresistible; the edges of ‘Panic Attack’ are too rounded to be believable. The song writing might not be pushing any boundaries or breaking new ground, but it feels familiar and comfortable. It’s a refreshing, if not innovative, break from the seemingly constant need of artists today to be doing something different and individual. Sometimes you want a comfy old sweatshirt rather than a fancy new dress.