It’s not often you hear of bands from South Africa causing such a stir overseas, but then it has been nine long years since singer-songwriter Kahl Morbee first formed indie rock outfit The Parlotones, with his high school and university friends, so it‘s been a long road. What finally propelled them into the mainstream conscious was one fateful day in 2006 when their song ’Beautiful’ was chosen to front an ad for Fujifilm. In no time at all, Universal Music had their signatures for the rights to distribute their music worldwide - so far they haven’t looked back.
‘Radiocontrolledrobot’ is their sophomore album and was originally released in its 18-track form back in their homeland in 2005. In 2007 it was released internationally and had been paired down to 12 tracks. Now, finally, after all that time the UK gets a release of their own. So has it been worth the wait? Well, there are a few tracks that stand out above the others, namely the ones that have been receiving so much attention over the years. But there is too much that sounds anodyne, lacking in any bite or drive. ‘Louder Than Bombs’ is played at an accelerated pace and serves as a fine introduction with an anthemic washing chorus under which a wave of bubbling guitar and simmering drums chunter away steadily. ’Beautiful’ is certainly a sweetly-sung rock anthem being feisty enough to not get bogged down yet balletic enough to soothe with Morbee’s vocal very reminiscent of James of ’Sit Down’ fame.
By comparison the stilted, plod and whine of the title-track, the melancholic snore-a-thon that is ‘The Impossible’ (which the band pass off as an “Interlude”) or the “boom-tish” trappings of ’Tiny’ all fail to hit the mark - the opening lyrics of the final track sum it up as Morbee laments “This treasure is ours but it won‘t fix” - “disappointing times” indeed. There will be no track here that you hate, none that you love, but many, many that could play in the background and you wouldn’t even notice. To be frank, it’s all too mediocre, sounding lost and rather dated - it’s no surprise though, these songs were penned three years ago.
Also online @ Music-Zine = http://www.music-zine.com/reviews/?id=493