It ain't top of the class but it gets an A for effort.
Damian Jones 2007-04-19
Here we go again, another Manchester band intent on forging the sound of Oasis, The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays into their own modern day schlock. No doubt the singer oozes the same cocksure swagger as messieurs Gallagher and Ryder and is obsessed with unleashing all things nu-baggy on the masses. Move on boys we've seen it all before.
But hang on a pop jangling minute, this lot are called Polytechnic not No Waysis. You know Polytechnic, as in college rock, as in jolly indie tunes straight out of the same school as Weezer, The Magic Numbers and Pavement. So you see there isn't a whiff of "Fools Gold" or Morning Glory here. Just a lethal dose of Americana and all things Trans-Atlantic.
Like The Magic Numbers before them, in ''Man Overboard'' the Manc hippies craft up a luscious dollop of shanty town pop as singer Dylan Giles screams: 'Man Overboard, Man Overboard, Man', over a hooky chorus as if his life depended on it. It's a catchy formula which works brilliantly on the priceless "Pep" and the racing beauty of "Running Out Of Ideas".
And when the Mancs throw in huge pop anthem "Hoof", it's almost as if the bookworm newcomers have crafted a winner in debut album Down Til Dawn.
That is until the happy clapping quintet go all gloomy and play the Radiohead card on us with the desolate and downright dreary "Polling Card". To make matters worse, while their pop jangle works brilliantly at times, it tires and trudges along tragically elsewhere (see "Still Spinning" , "Bible Stories", "Quay Street"). Fortunately the majority of Down Til Dawn's pop belters manage to outshine the dumpers on this debut. It's just a pity there aren't more of them.
Polytechnic's first act then. It ain't top of the class but it gets an A for effort.