The debut album by Salford's The Ting Tings comes hot on the heels of their No.1 single "That's Not My Name", a nugget of pop gold that comes on like a genetic splicing of Toni Basil's "Micky" and The Knack's "My Sharona". The bulk of We Started Nothing
follows a similar formula, navigating a path between the smart, angular indie of CSS, Bonde Do Role, et al and the pop mainstream. Here and there, they pull it off perfectly: the stutter-rap of "Fruit Machine" sees vocalist Katie White leading on some poor sap with sultry charisma and lip-gloss sass, while the excellent "Shut Up and Let Me Go" is snappy dance-punk in the spirit of Blondie's "Rapture" or Tom Tom Club's "Genius of Love". Elsewhere, they branch out with mixed results. "We Walk" builds from quiet flourishes of piano into a surprisingly steely manifesto: "Smash the rest up/Burn it down/Put us in the corner cause we're into ideas", sneers White. Rather less good is "Traffic Light", a light, jazzy number that employs a number of somewhat forced driving metaphors to describe a relationship hit the skids. Still, it's a debut with promise, and a string of good singles is nothing to be sniffed at. -Louis Pattison
There comes a moment when even the most ardent cynic realises its time to sneak out of their jaded prison and gatecrash a party. And this summer, as a nation throws off its shackles of pessimism to the sounds of this debut, it'll happen to you too. Licking their wounds after trial-by-record-label with former outfit, Dear Eskimo, the Salford duo stared into the roiling canyon of resentment - and decided to go drinking instead. The result is the delirious joy-gasm known as We Started Nothing, and the soundtrack to what can only be described as a Ting Tings moment.
Stultifying career? Soul-sapping ex? Shoe-gazing again? Throw a party! And be sure to book a Great DJ! This dizzying, sing-a-long opening track is homage to their famed escapades as scenesters-in-residence at Islington Mill - Manchester's drizzly, down-to-earth rendering of Andy Warhol's Factory. With such a hedonistic pedigree, it'd be easy to dismiss them as purveyors of the slick hipster sneer, but they're unremittingly adorable. The Ting Tings are distinctive in the electro ephemera trade for their unpretentious quirkiness. It can be seen on such playful adventures in nonsensical imagery as Traffic Light and Fruit Machine.
The album scampers by in its springy Converse with suitably youthful exuberance. Yet, it has a spirit that can only come from experience. The shouty roll call of misnomers, That's Not My Name, is a feminist rant you can only write when you have the benefit of hindsight. It was inspired by the experience of singer/guitarist, Katie White, who was offered fame-for-flesh in their former incarnation. The track laments forgettable female starlets baring all for the lads. With idealism duly quashed, it's a refreshingly jovial indictment of modern music which, nonetheless, packs a punch.
Of course, any party worth its salt stays on way past the Ting Tings moment and, naturally, this duo aren't going to be going home alone any time soon. Their staggering six-minute title track is like a dishevelled dawn chorus, serenading the last men standing. Cynics can look on blankly as the pied pipers of hyper lead the conga into the middle of next zeitgeist. --Sophie Hammer
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THE TING TINGS We Started Nothing (2008 UK 10-track CD album - A deliriously appealing mix of Go-Gos beat pop clubbier beats and Katies grippingly rankled vocal delivery The Ting Tings fashioned their entire album in six weeks at The Mill; its a rollercoaster mash up of energy anger and pure pop arousal; including the singles Great DJ Thats Not My Name Shut Up And Let Me Go Be The One and We Walk.)