Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All The Stupid Smiling Faces – The Insurgents

As a late-comer to the Indie genre I have to admit I was sketchy about reviewing an album labelled indie-pop. I was afraid if I listened to it from a subjective point of view then I would not like it and thus incur the wrath of the nuveau-chic indie darlings that this town holds so close to its creative heart. But an amazing thing happened, I realised that there is some Indie music that I like, and it’s all thanks to The Insurgents’ debut All The Stupid Smiling Faces.

Scattered throughout the record there are hints of inspiration from the Checks, The Kaiser Cheifs and other contemporary indie-rock success stories, but in saying that this album is far from a carbon-copy of other bands. The Insurgents have this great musical quality that allows them to effectively collect together different styles together to create a special breed of indie that is effectively theirs. This ranges from the juxtaposing vocals of album opener ‘Rather Be Dead’ and ‘Feeling Put Out’ to the slow-burning ‘None Of Us Are Getting Out Alive’. However the true strength of The Insurgents lies in their ability to make music to dance to in that special indie fashion – that style that those op-shop obsessed indie chicks dance like, you know what I mean. Bad descriptions this album is laden with great dancey tunes to bop along to most notably ‘Pop Sensation’ and the great closing track ‘Ezi Luvas 69’. Though I have to say the track that stands out most has got to be ‘Playing Guitars’ that, despite starting off like a certain cringe-worthy pop song ripped from an 80s teen movie, actually becomes a great song with a definite charm that builds into a great closing chorus.

As stubborn as I was in resisting the Indie genre’s grip upon the local music industry The Insurgents’ have effectively swayed my opinion with their great charm, convincing me that New Zealand’s indie scene isn’t all just too-alternative-for-you kids with little talent in their suede boots. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to board myself in my flat before the indie hoards come to claim my soul for that last little comment.

4.5 stars

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