Album review

Spy 51 : We Jet Hem
Double R Records

Spy 51 : We Jet HemThis is what the Manic Street Preachers would sound like if they suddenly lost all their money and had to start all over again. In a shed. Without Richie wossisname of course.

It's hard to tell if this North London three-piece are aiming to gather the fall-out of Manics fans disillusioned by their heroes' rapid rise to stadium rock status by plying a just-like-it-used-to-be sound-alike shtick, or if they believe what they are doing is an honest stab at something new and meaningful.
    Either way, this six track EP is pretty impressive in an anxious-but-melodic-vocal-rock-with-big-guitar-accompaniment-recorded-in-a-shed kind of way. Its all here, right down to the impressive vocal harmonies, joyously creative, sing-a-long choruses and loads of jangly guitar.
    Buy it before they turn into a stadium rock act and start wearing skirts. Or wait until a Spy 51 soundalike band comes along, and the Manic Street Preachers are back playing club nights in the Presteigne Grand Mecca Bingo Hall.

If you like the Manics, you'll either love this as a bloody good mid-career copy, or hate it for trying to half-inch Messrs Bradfield, Wire and erm . . . the other bloke's sound. There's really not much more that can be said.

:: Tom Alford

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