Album: The Zutons

Who Killed the Zutons? Deltasonic
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The Independent Culture

To read The Zutons' list of influences - their press release cites Talking Heads, Devo, Dr John, Sly Stone, Dexys and Madness, for starters - you'd be forgiven for imagining them to be some sharp punk-funk ensemble. Sadly, the drift of opinion that believes them to be a bit like their fellow Liverpudlians The Coral, but not as good, is rather closer to the mark. Tracks such as "Zuton Fever", "Long Time Coming" and "Havana Gang Brawl" offer an urgent, spiky guitar-pop that resembles a cross between The Coral and Franz Ferdinand but lacks the charm of either. Some may find the dubious addition of the worst sax-playing since X-Ray Spex eccentric rather than excruciating. Of their more soul-oriented influences, there is little evidence here; the closest they come being the new single "You Will You Won't", whose riff recalls Beefheart's "Dropout Boogie" re-routed through Sixties UK R&B. David McCabe's songs cover a fair range of subjects, from old friendships ("Remember Me?") to fevered dreams ("Nightm

To read The Zutons' list of influences - their press release cites Talking Heads, Devo, Dr John, Sly Stone, Dexys and Madness, for starters - you'd be forgiven for imagining them to be some sharp punk-funk ensemble. Sadly, the drift of opinion that believes them to be a bit like their fellow Liverpudlians The Coral, but not as good, is rather closer to the mark. Tracks such as "Zuton Fever", "Long Time Coming" and "Havana Gang Brawl" offer an urgent, spiky guitar-pop that resembles a cross between The Coral and Franz Ferdinand but lacks the charm of either. Some may find the dubious addition of the worst sax-playing since X-Ray Spex eccentric rather than excruciating. Of their more soul-oriented influences, there is little evidence here; the closest they come being the new single "You Will You Won't", whose riff recalls Beefheart's "Dropout Boogie" re-routed through Sixties UK R&B. David McCabe's songs cover a fair range of subjects, from old friendships ("Remember Me?") to fevered dreams ("Nightmare II"), but rarely impinge on one's attentions in a compelling way. The Zutons have all the appearance of a fledgling band thrust before their time into the limelight - although, having been together since 2002, it's debatable whether they'll develop much further beyond their present state.

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