So you release a brilliantly angry debut album, hit reality TV, date Peaches Geldof and become tabloid fodder. What’s next? Well, you’d think it would be a treading water sophomore effort and watch the cash roll in. Yet, this is Towers Of London we are talking about so instead, we get new members, a new sound, a new record label and the strange beast known as ‘Fizzy Pop’.
Okay, lets get the bad stuff out of the way first, the production of ‘Fizzy Pop’ is absolutely terrible – it sounds like it was recorded underwater, or the producer was perhaps asleep through the whole process. Whilst the guitars on album one were crystal clear and turned up to 11, here they are stuck back in the mix, coming through an amp that cost a quid from Poundstretcher. And what’s happened to Donny’s vocals? The screeching banshee is gone and the vocals are stuck behind some sort of effect, like they’ve borrowed Cher’s vocoder and puked all over it. It’s like having Bob Ezrin produce your debut and then sacking him and bringing in Steve Albini. Or Steve Albini’s deaf brother.
Yet, underneath all the grit are a dozen guitar pop gems, with more hooks and choruses than a lot of bands manage in their entire careers. Donny has been commenting recently that touring the first album was tough as everything was so full on, so here things are a lot calmer, less angry, but still bang on the button when it comes to singalong tunes. Forget the faux punk attitude of the past, this new (improved?) Towers is more like an amalgam of The Wildhearts bubblegum metal and the bonkers glitter rush of Space Age Playboys.
Highlights include the poptastic ‘When She Comes’, the attitude laden ‘Go Sister Go’ and first single ‘Naked On The Dance Floor’. The spotlight may have left the Tourettes, but on this evidence they still demand your attention, but this time more for the classic tunes rather than the fights and the booze. Although we’re sure they’ll still ensure there are plenty of both on the tour…