Tipped as one of the most vital breakthrough bands of 2007,
The Enemy follow their Top 10 hit single `Away From Here' with the release
of their eagerly anticipated debut album `We'll Live And Die In These
`We'll Live And Die In These Towns' highlights `Away From Here' alongside
the limited edition Stiff Records singles `It's Not OK' and '40 Days & 40
Nights' with fiery and impassioned new material such as `You're Not Alone',
`This Song' and the title-track.
Firstly, the good things about the album. The Enemy's energy bursts through the speakers, and the sound is nice and tight, and the choruses are just begging to be shouted back at the band by a sweaty, overly enthusiastic crowd.
Recent single 'Had Enough' is an album highlight, with 'It's Not OK' a close second. Both are on the right side of raucous and shouty and give the feel of a band full of frustrated energy and ambition. In fact, all of the songs on We'll Live And Die In These Towns are short (the longest track is just over 4 minutes), sharp indie pop.
But the overall impression is that a lot of this album is filler from a fairly one-dimensional band. They do the job, but there's little to keep your interest on this debut album. 'Technodanceaphobic', in trying to get a driving drum beat and riff going, just ends up sounding monotonous, and 'Happy Birthday Jane' is almost too dreary to mention.
Lyrically it is hardly advanced either. Gems such as 'Irony can be quite funny/You making other people money/My working day has just begun/It's not exactly what I would call fun' pepper the album. You get the feeling that the next cliché about being a wage slave is just round the corner.
The bottom line is that you have heard this before, and you have heard it done better by the likes of The Arctic Monkeys and Hard Fi. The only subject matter seems to be of everyday sulky teens stuck in tin pot towns and rubbish jobs, with chips the size of Gibraltar on their shoulders - fine for a few tracks, but a whole album?
If you are a teenage boy you will like this album. If you aren't, you would do better off going elsewhere. --Helen Groom
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window