Razorlight are one of those hateful bands that are usually more hype than substance. The frontman, Johnny Borrell struts around like the living reincarnation of Liam Gallagher, except Gallagher (to my mind) was always the more convincing asshole. So you could be forgiven for thinking that Razorlight was a whole lot of hot air and not much else.
That’s probably why Razorlight’s debut album Up All Night caught me completely off guard. On a few recommendations, I borrowed a copy to listen to in the car. This album didn’t spark with me on the first listen: Trendy indie-rock normally turns me off. Oh, and as a rule I avoid over-hyped bands like they’re diseased anyway.
It took a couple of listens to get into Up All Night, but this is good stuff. The album starts off inconspicuously with a single piano line then bursts into the radio-friendly Leave Me Alone. Frenetic drumming, crisp clear guitar lines and that English-Indie accent set the pace for the rest of the album. Anthemic indie pop.
The Best Bits
Up All Night is a strong debut, and it’s hard to pick out a track I don’t like. There’s something urban and sleazy in the sound, the lyrics, the delivery. The music is pounding and passionate.
As well as Leave Me Alone, the most outstanding tracks on the album are Rock N Roll Lies, Which Way Is Out, Don’t Go Back To Dalston and the title track, Up All Night.
Critics of Razorlight (or more specifically, Johnny Borell) have pointed out that they’re not the most original of bands on the scene today, but they’re missing the point. The obvious comparison here is Oasis. Their sound wasn’t particularly original, but there was something in the chemistry that people liked.
All hype aside, Razorlight’s debut is a cracker album packed with memorable Indie-Rock tunes.