Album: Friendly Fires, Pala (XL)

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The Independent Culture

Despite the occasional, brief moment of class – the African-flavoured guitar intro to "Pull Me Back to Earth", the liquid ambience of "Helpless" – Friendly Fires' follow-up to their Mercury-nominated debut is a huge disappointment.

The Klaxons-style "new rave" approach has been developed in several ways, some worse than others: "Live Those Days Tonight" is nimble guitar funk in the lineage of Talking Heads and Franz Ferdinand, but later on there's a vein of blue-eyed yuppie techno-soul ranging from the almost acceptable Hall & Oates soundalike "Hurting" to the utterly hateful Level 42 clavinet and slap-bass Sta-Prest funk of "True Love", as wrong a turning as any young, upcoming band has taken in the past decade.

DOWNLOAD THIS Live Those Days Tonight; Helpless; Pull Me Back to Earth