The press release accompanying !Hope wants to let us all know that Todd Marriott and William Bowerman, the duo that make up the band, actually were Cub Scouts in times gone by. Not only did this teach them to tie fancy knots and salute in an elegant manner but it also set them in good stead for their future lives in the tricky world of British Emotion rock: possibly the most taunted area of contemporary music in the world today.- It's a genre which embraces Anglo-American relations to the fullest extent and is the scourge of 'traditional' British-indie pop fans who refuse to wake up to the fact that the 90s have passed us by.
But alas, this is not an American imitation record by any stretch - it is defiantly 'made in the UK'. But throughout there's a nagging feeling that something's not quite right. Save Your Wishes kicks the album off with sweeping sythns and heart-felt romantic verse that, in theory, should be splendid but in reality sounds very much like The Stereophonics post-Performance & Cocktails.
But let's not be too harsh - Pink Squares, whilst not the most accomplished track, shows all the commercial promise of a mega teen-anthem laced with echo-delayed guitar loops and angst vocals. Also Echoes shows signs that IWACS could be great live; Marriott howls, ''just waste your days with me'' over a landscape of great drumming and haunting backing vocals.
It would probably be fair to say that The Hunter's Daughter is the stand out track and maybe a direction IWACS will pursue in later albums. However, for the time being they are content with getting their debut off their chest. Something that will no doubt bring them a badge or two. --David McGuire
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