Slipway Fires might just be the most hilarious album you'll hear all year.
Chris Long 2008
Quite why Razorlight are so mercilessly ridiculed by all and sundry is a bit of a mystery. Sure, they've made some big-headed statements and seemed too big for their two-album-old boots, but have they sinned any more than a myriad of other artists, acts who, in fairness to Johnny and the lads, haven't had anywhere near as much success?
As every band knows, the best way to answer your critics is not by giving them a slap outside a nightclub, tempting as it might be, but by making sure the next album is a fantastic, inventive and untouchable slice of brilliance.
If any band thinks they're capable of such a thing, it's Razorlight. Slipway Fires, though, isn't so much an answer to the critics as a statement of intent. And that intention? Quite simply, it's to become the new Queen.
The album is stadium pomp from start to finish, all of it staggering and not for the right reasons.
Take Tabloid Lover, a song so awful and clichéd in its lyrics (Tabloid lover / box to box runner / tabloid lover / page three stunna!) and so generically simple in its rock melody, even The Darkness would have shied away from it.
It’s not alone in its head-shaking poorness. Both North London Trash and Burberry Blue Eyes (yes, seriously, that is the title) are awful MOR nonsense, the latter containing one of the worst slow-down fade-outs you'll hear in a long time, while the slow shuffle of 60 Thompson and the false emotion of Stinger are lighter-in-the-air shockers so lumpen, you wonder how they ever managed to crawl out of the studio.
Where the band who tore up the place with Stumble And Fall and Vice and proved their big-time potential with America and In The Morning have gone is utterly unfathomable. It's as if it was all a brilliant dream and we’ve woken up to the worst hangover ever.
Still, it's good to know that it's not just Brian May and Roger Taylor who are happy to unzip and release on Freddie Mercury’s legacy – now even the wannabes are doing it. Slipway Fires might just be the most hilarious album you'll hear all year.