“DOYA (Depend On Your Alter-Ego)” is the second album from London natives Shibuya Crossings and, if you haven’t heard of them before now, then I wouldn’t be surprised.
‘DOYA’ is a completely inoffensive set of songs which balances just on the right side of bland. It’s not an album you would turn off in disgust, but it probably isn’t something you would set out to listen to either.
It’s Radio 2 stuff right down the line and while a couple of tracks stand-out – notably the one-two punch of opening tracks ‘At Eight In A Spanish Bar’ (the album’s lead single) and ‘Take It Out On Me’ (a glorious slice of guitar pop which could easily open an episode of Hollyoaks) – there’s nothing which screams individuality.
In fact, the most effective moment on the album, ‘A Wonder Inside’, suggests more of a Stereophonics affinity than a songwriting ability.
There are plenty of tracks here that you could see being sung along by punters at gigs – the trick is going to be getting them there. There is nothing about ‘DOYA’ which grips you and makes you want to love this band.
In its defense, it arrives fully without pretension. Shibuya Crossings, despite the name, do not have the feel of a band who think they are creating the most important music in the history of the art-form and that in itself goes a long way.
Here’s hoping that album number three sees them capitalise on the potential that this one indicates.
(Released through Typically Magic Records on 13th June 2011)
Kenneth John Porteous