The Lodger - Grown-Ups
Clark Summers 25/06/2007
Some bands need a good kick up the back-side in order to truly realise their potential and The Lodger are one such band. The Leeds based trio of Ben Sidall (vox/guitars/keys), Joe Margetts (bass) and Katie James (drums) have been knocking around for a not inconsiderable amount of time now and have already proven they have a knack for churning out the odd indie pop gem. Debut album “Grown-Ups” is certainly a record of fleeting promise but it's by no means the finished article even if it does recall those halcyon days when “indie” was well… “indie”.
The clattering “Many Thanks For Your Honest Opinion” opens up proceedings and is a real riot, clattering along with purpose like a horde of teens who are amped up and ready to roll, its neat melodic charms hiding a sour and decidedly sarcastic set of lyrics. It's a shame then that its fizzy kick is neutralised by recent single “Kicking Sand” which almost revels in its own mediocrity (“we're not superstars / we're just kicking sand”). On “Getting Special” the band attempt to flex their musical muscles, combining disco beats with jangly new-wave guitars to reasonable if not mind-blowing effect. The band certainly sound much more at ease when reverting to type as on “You Got Me Wrong” - a brief, breezy slice of summery alt-pop.
The Lodger fall into the trap of sounding like a middling Britpop band on more than one occasion however, the dreary “Free Period” sounds like a less decadent Rialto and the weedy “Unsatisfied” sounds like a hackneyed pastiche of Pulp but otherwise the band keep on the right side of tasteful for the most part. The inspired “Simply Left Behind” is pretty darn fantastic and at times Sidall and co. come close to recapturing the giddy rush of early Wedding Present mixed with a side order of 'His 'n' Hers' era Pulp. The band play to their strengths when they attack their material hard and fast as on the choppy Boo Radleys aping “Let Her Go” - a lo-fi-ish arrangement is fleshed out by a welcome dash of brass here and there. “Not So Fast” is the pick of the band's weaker slower numbers and supports the old maxim that “less is more” when pitted against the epic “Bye Bye” (coincidentally the albums weakest track). “Grown-Ups” may not show The Lodger maturing to their full potential (it's a little on the patchy side) but it's a tantalising glimpse of what could follow in the future. File under “K” for “keep an eye on”.