The Law: A Measure of Wealth

RIYL: The Kooks, Dogs Die in Hot Cars, The Futureheads

Those coming to the Law via their international exposure on the soundtrack to “The Men Who Stare at Goats” might be a bit surprised when they listen to the rest of the album. Whether that is a pleasant surprise or not will simply be a matter of taste. A Measure of Wealth is just that, a little slice of energetic indie rock that begs the question whether a band from Dundee Scotland would be insulted to be called Brit-pop. Whatever their feelings, their influences are clearly ’80s and ’90s Brit-pop, more on the Blur side of the tracks than Oasis. They lack the Trad-rock elements of the Gallagher brothers, though the album was recorded at Sawmills Studios, the studio that gave birth to Definitely Maybe. This isn’t what you might expect after the lead track “Don’t Stop, Believe” (which is also found on the aforementioned soundtrack) comes blasting out like a Wolfmother lead. Full on blues-based hard rock, with Robert Plant-like wailing in the background, “Don’t Stop, Believe” is pedal-to-the-metal music, and nothing like what follows.


As track one grinds down into a single Hammond chord, the album transforms and we are greeted with a heavily Pulp-influenced tune called “The Chase,” which truly sets the tone for everything to follow. The Pulp influence resurfaces in riffs and refrains throughout, but halfway through, on “Television Satellite” they drop any subtlety to wrap themselves fully in the glam-influence and swirling guitars of the biggest heroes of Brit-pop, Suede. More than a few tracks would have been right at home on an album like Coming Up, and this is a good thing. All in all, the Law have created a romp of an album, one that should be shuffled into any discerning college student’s party mix. So, while anyone looking for more stoner rock based on the opening track might be disappointed, A Measure of Wealth is a solid, energetic debut that shouldn’t be overlooked. (Local Boy Records 2010)

The Law MySpace page


The Noisettes: Wild Young Hearts

In an age where people equate melisma with talent, Shingai Shoniwa is a godsend. Of course, she’d be a godsend at any point in time, but she’s particularly welcome now. The lead singer for the UK indie rock group the Noisettes is a force of nature, but she’s no showoff; she does what’s best for the song (a lost art, to be sure), and the batch of songs she and her bandmates have brewed up for Wild Young Hearts, the band’s sophomore effort, are exceptional. (“Saturday Night Live” will surely come a-calling soon.) The label is shrewdly playing the Amy Winehouse card by releasing the Motown-ish “Never Forget You” as the first single – and that’s a good call, as it’s one of the album’s finest moments – but don’t write the Noisettes off as Back to Black imitators. They’re a guitar-driven pop band at their core, as the title track and “Beat of My Heart” will attest, but if we’re being honest, the ballads rule the roost. “24 Hours” is a wistful tale about a very recent fling, “Every Now and Then” has one of those unforgettable descending chord sequences in the chorus, and the Bacharach-cribbing album closer “Cheap Kicks” is an instant classic. All bands should be blessed to have a singer with the versatility that Shoniwa shows here. (Mercury 2009)

The Noisettes MySpace page


Related Posts