I have to confess I’m not a fan of the comeback. Having witnessed the Jesus and Mary Chain’s return at Camden’s Roundhouse, complete with heartfelt thank-you’s and an encore, I’ve realised I’d rather live in the past than revisit it.
However, when offered the chance to review Dodgy‘s first release in 16 years I felt a surge of nostalgia. I was there in 1995 when ‘Staying Out For The Summer‘ seemed the perfect Glastonbury anthem so I figured it was worth a listen.
Hmmm, where do I begin? Dodgy? This stuff sounds more like Neil Young…
Okay, so I should have been pre-warned by a press release that lauded a ‘deeper and more mature’ sound. But what of the promised ‘BIGGER choruses’?? Bigger than ‘Staying Out For The Summer‘? Bigger than ‘Good Enough‘? I think not.
Let’s be honest, Dodgy were always Britpop’s bridesmaids. They surfed alongide the likes of Blur & Elastica, but they never hit the crest of the wave. A handful of catchy tunes and a drummer with a hat, Dodgy were like the novelty act on the bill.
That said, they could always draw a festival crowd. They knew their market. Which is why this new direction comes as a bit of a surprise. Examination of the accompanying press notes reveals a move to Texas for the album mixing and mention of Matt Pense who worked with Midlake. That figures.
There are definitely plenty of the promised ‘stronger melodies’. But anyone hoping for a hint of Britpop should steer well clear. ‘Stand Upright In A Cool Place‘ has borrowed more from folk music than any other genre and the sound is virtually unrecognisable.
Maybe I’m being a bit harsh on Dodgy. After all, they’d look a bit lame if they returned after 16 years with re-hashes of their former hits. At least they’re trying to be contemporary. But this stuff just washes over me.
Singer Nigel Clark says they believe ‘the songs are good enough to win us a whole new audience’. Think they’ll need one.
Dodgy – Stand Upright In A Cool Place Tracklist:
Tripped & Fell
What Became Of You
Did It Have To Be This Way
Waiting For The Sun
Only A Heartbeat
Find A lace
Back Of You
Stand Upright In A Cool Place by Dodgy is released on Strike Back Records.