Give up the day job lads, your side project has nicked your tunes.
Ben Ashmore 2007
After dealing with the “difficult” second album and setting up the mandatory side project, the brothers White return with their third album No Need To Be Downhearted, the question being, is there still a place for ESP?
Opener “No Need to Be Downhearted (Part 1)”, does not do what its says on the tin. Sounding like a Morrissey castoff is not the attention grabber this album needed to announce ESP’s return. Where is the breezy pop we had come to love, the songs that Weezer would have been proud of? Maybe too much is being expected off a first track, maybe they’re just getting settled and maybe those joyous melodies are just around the corner, no need to be downhearted, yet. Well, this reviewer is very downhearted because it does not get any better, the melodies don’t arrive, songs such as “Woken By A Kiss” press the pyschedelia buttons, but no-one bothered to press the “interesting” button.
Praise be then for “If That’s The Case, Then I Don’t Know”. Someone seems to be have been spying on a few CSS practices because here is an Indie-disco beast. Some of that disco strut evident in side project, The Brakes, has followed the brothers back to the day job. The problem is that this track is the albums undoing. It’s so beastly that it swallows the rest of the album; the rest just don’t stand up. Although they may have borrowed some of the disco, The Brakes have kept the soul of ESP. Whereas previous tunes gleefully harked back to mid-nineties Indie, this album is tired and out of steam. There’s no longer the punch which made them stand out.
Regrettably, it seems there is no longer a place for Electric Soft Parade; give up the day job lads, your side project has nicked your tunes.