Hats Off To The Buskers – The View

Post Author:

Arctic Monkeys set a blistering pace for British buzz in the digital era. Now, a band can thrash at the top of the pops without playing outside their hometown, let alone leaving their teens. It’s the sort of rock and roll dreamland where any old Myspace-pimped bloke with a few licks can make it with a couple pub-shaking anthems and a shaggy haircut. Some might say it’s history repeating itself, with the garage rockers begetting (at least in verbiage) Garageband. If the novelty of amateur starlets lives on, it’s surviving off ever more arbitrary, frantic whims, because it’s hard to say what The View’s got on the rest of the bawdy pack of teen rockers, other than radio hits. 

There’s a relish for ska/reggae (as filtered through The Specials, not The Clash), the folk rock sentimentalism of Billy Joel, and the noisy pop punk of their contemporaries the Cooper Temple Clause. These little wisps of inspiration pitter out piecemeal, scattered throughout a disparate album that never solidifies enough for The View to be anything but a series of catchy tunes. Perhaps consistency no longer translates to longevity (if it ever did). If iTunes has returned the industry to a singles medium, perhaps artists have the freedom to reinvent as often as they please. It’s hard to know what this sort of youthful dawdling will bear in the future, and whether The View’s flash of fame is as excitable and inscrutable as their 18 year old chorus : “Life’s one big circle / And it doesn’t end / When it ends / Will you still be my friend?”