Rotary Ten These Are Our Hands Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

An absolute joy to listen to.

Rob Crossan 2008

Thank God indie music can shun the big issues of the day in favour of the true minutiae of what really sucks in life. "I am in goal forever", yelps Rotary Ten frontman James Trafford on I Fear The Field - perhaps the greatest alt-football reference in music since Kicker Conspiracy. It's the highlight of the debut long player from this Sheffield four-piece, though the rest of the album is peppered with beautiful, Marr-esque riffs and melodies that ooze charisma, intelligence and uplifted energy, without pandering to the three-chord lobotomy of the average XFM playlist.

Good Shoes and Maximo Park are the obvious comparisons but there's plenty here to mark Rotary Ten out as something really rather special. Trafford's lyrics, for example, are a wobbly yet inspired Crayola mish-mash of weary observation and cheap supermarket cola-fuelled exuberance. "We line the seams with sulphur to counteract the burn that prevailed from your cataracts", is a particularly book-ish example from album closer Don't Lean On The Wires. "Oh, to be flattered", Trafford implores on Strategy. OK, so this is essentially just boys with guitars; but sometimes you forget just how fabulous it can sound when guitar riffs chime so perfectly in unison with this kind of prodigious word-smithery.

This is an utterly charming album that will leave you with the same kind of feeling you get from eating an entire tube of Refresher sweets, before bunking off school to spend a summer afternoon chain-smoking in the park. It is songwriting mastered by boys with ears for melody and nuance that belie their years, and humiliate their peers. An absolute joy to listen to.

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