Album Review: The Courteeners – Falcon (Polydor, 2010)

George Bate 14 March 2010

3/5

Possessing all the swagger of namesake Liam Gallagher, Courteeners front man Liam Fray does not shy away from a verbal tiff. Having previously fired shots at Hard-Fi, Scouting for Girls and The Enemy, the onus is squarely on Fray to prove that his band has something more to offer. Bigmouth himself, Morrissey, who invited the band on a recent US tour, seems to think so and Falcon goes halfway to proving him right.

Aside from the disco-esque pulse of lead single and album highlight ‘You Overdid It Doll’, Falcon mostly falls partway between the shambling indie sound of The Libertines and the slightly slicker piano pop of Keane. Occasionally Fray steps out on his own for a quieter acoustic track, but results are varied as his voice is rarely subtle enough to carry this kind of number..

Lyrical content does not fall far from the standard British indie fare of girls, good times and hometown pride (Manchester if you hadn’t guessed already), though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Fray isn’t afraid to be sentimental, and he occasionally displays an atypical turn of phrase not held by many of his contemporaries; “I’d rather entertain disdain” he coos on ‘Sycophant’. It seems that the Smiths comparisons make themselves. They’re mainly superficial however, as none of The Courteeners can exactly claim to possess the song writing nous of either Morrissey or Johnny Marr, and what they’re pushing isn’t exactly innovative any longer.

Whilst it might not stray far from the beaten path, Falcon does revivalist jangle pop fairly well. A pleasant listen, but don’t expect any more of it.

George Bate