Considering I pretty much slated this band when I reviewed their last single ‘Bayonet’ a few months ago I really wasn’t expecting much from ‘Can’t Go Dancing When You’re Gone’ and I have to say: they have absolutely met my expectations.
Now, if I’m being honest, that’s pretty unfair as many of the problems that existed on ‘Bayonet’ are absent from this one.
It seems that a more upbeat Damn Vandals is a much more effective band than the failing-to-be-Joy-Division version that appeared on their previous single.
That isn’t to say that ‘Can’t Go Dancing…’ is without it’s problems.
For all the good here, it does kind of feels like a less-ambitious version of a Franz Ferdinand tune and lead singer Jack Kansas (is that his real name?) still sounds far too much like Ian Curtis.
Interestingly, the PR material accompanying the single looked to play up this last detail but truth is, it’s nothing to be particularly proud of. He sounds like Curtis in the same way that guy off of Stars In Their Eyes sounded like Chris DeBurgh.
If Damn Vandals want to find their own identity then Kansas is going to have to find his own voice.
However, just to reiterate: ‘Can’t Go Dancing…’ is a marked improvement on their over-serious prior effort and worth checking out.
After hearing this, should a full-length record ever land on my doorstep, I wouldn’t approach it with quite the same amount of dread that accompanied me when I slotted this one into the disc drive.
(Released through Sexy Beast on 12th September 2011)
Kenneth John Porteous