Racecar is Racecar Backwards
The list of bands I was too bigoted against to appreciate while they still existed grows again by one. So, let's quickly deal with the why I was an idiot - and then we can get to talking about this record. Basically it was two things; first, a show where Reuben played in my hometown and acted like little prima donnas, and second, that a bunch of pretty douchey guys and fucking emo kids liked them. Erm, that's about it really.
So, of course, when I finally took the time to actually listen to them properly it naturally turned out that they were fucking ace. Their second album isn't much to write home about, but their first really is; the best way I can explain it as a shoutier version of the album Septembre could have made if they'd ever actually gotten their shit together (and I fucking loved Septembre).
The singles 'Let's Stop Hanging Out' and 'Freddy Kreuger' are naturally ace, but the opener 'No One Wins The War' really is the song that sells the album. Rocky, catchy and with a little off-kilter jagginess to the riffs, it's a little like the aforementioned Septembre's track 'Always' and really sets the tone (and pace) for the record to come. Personally, my favourite is 'Tonight, My Wife Is Your Wife', which, so the story goes at least, is actually about the town I grew up in. Ace.
Lyrically, there's a good shot of wry humour as well as the same bitterness that would eventually lead to their 'greatest hits' being called We Should Have Gone to University; there's a lot of focus on friends moving away to college and stuck-up girls, but then that's sort of what you'd expect for a young rock band from the commuter belt. Post-album single 'Moving to Blackwater' is the epitome of this; only people living in Surrey of a certain age can really get where they're coming from with that in-joke, but you begin to feel that maybe their prima donna-esque angst about their lack of success wasn't so unwarranted after all.
In conclusion then, a great straightforward rock record with not a weak song on it; if you're in any way into the British post-grunge bands that spawned around the turn of the millennium then you need to own this record.