Monday, July 03, 2006

pucka choons

Okay I'll admit that when I first heard 'Vehicles and Animals' by Athlete I thought it would be the perfect soundtrack to a Jamie Oliver barbecue, all those diamond geezers and geezer birds 'high fiving' and congratulating each other in mockney accents. However when the sun comes out, as it did when I bought this album about 3 years ago, such cynical thoughts vanish. You only have to listen to where Athlete are at these days to realise what an interesting album it is. They've become another 'rent-an-anthem' band competing with Coldplay and Keane, was this at the instigation of their label, ironic when 'El Salvador' is all about the silly games that major labels play with bands.

Athlete- El Salvador

The other thing that interested me at the time was the evident influence of the mighty Steely Dan. In the 80's, bands like Danny Wilson, Deacon Blue and Prefab Sprout messed with that template but along with the High Llamas, Athlete are one of the few recent bands to take on board the jazz-influenced chord changes and mellow funk of the Dan and filter them through British street culture as in 'You Got The Style'. No idea whether this was concious but it works for me.

Athlete- You got the Style

Basically the strength of Athlete on this album was that they were a British guitar band who cast their net a little wider than most when it came to looking for role models, this is a good thing, yes?

Buy 'Vehicles and Animals' by Athlete

Visit Athlete here

[poor Marc-o - this was bizarrely one of the most controversial posts we ever did - he really took a kicking in the comments - see below. stevedomino, 14/5/14]


hmmm.... hard to hear these without hearing the miserable, earnestly-emoting, furrowed-browed jockers that they became.

I can kind-of see a Steely Dan influence, but marc-o, you keep skirting around The Dan - when will you do a proper post???

go on - for me?!

and Francis - stay with us, our kid!

Great songs, both of these!
I was really into Athlete when I first heard You Got The Style. It really was something different at the time.

But now, like you said, they've become another sub-standard Coldplay clone, very boring but selling more copies. 

The Arch
I'm with Frankie on this one. Clearly the heat has got to Marc.

I knew this would be controversial with some of our chippier viewers....which was part of the fun. Dan soon Steve, picking the tracks is difficult.

Reminds me of the time pus trickled into my root canal.

El Salvador eh. Bit like when Simple Minds sang of the 'Belfast Child'. Had they gone on about a 'Scunthorpe Child' or the like, I would've respected them a bit more.

Having said that, many thanks for continuing to do your stuff. 

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