Label: Vespasonic Website: http://www.myspace.com/showstarshowstar I’ve been putting off this review for a while now. Things have gotten in the way - life mostly. I don’t know why I haven’t got around to reviewing this album sooner. Maybe I was put off by the name of the band, which reminds me of what you might call a borderline lame racehorse in the hope that it might avoid ending up in the glue factory. Or the title of this album, which has got me thinking about /Neighbours/, the Australian TV Soap. Why? Well, last time I followed the soap it was on BBC One, and there was an annoying manorexic youngster called Ringo. /Think Ringo/? I can’t as it makes me long for the comforting maternal voice of Susan Kennedy. Opener ‘Residents of the lost club’ drools sixties saliva before pricking up into the annals of Britpop history - Mansun, Dodgy, Shed Seven etc. etc. I fear we have gone back in time as ‘on the telly’ contains the same chirpy riffs, and quirky catchy quotables that infiltrated numerous songs from the nineties. It’s strange these guys are from Belgium (home to interesting acts such as Soulwax and Girls in Hawaii) yet somehow they are channelling this feel good carefree sound from what now seems like a bygone age. Quoting influences such as Blur and Pulp is all well and good, but if you lack lyrical witticisms and cannot match the share virtuosity of Graham Coxon then chances are you will go down the road of so many indie bands, and release fair to middling albums, with the odd red herring – a catchy single. Unfortunately /Think Ringo/ lacks that catchy single. The problem for Showstar is that this album contains a lot of filler. ‘Goldmine’ is bright, but bland. ‘Building a house’ turgidly old fashioned and the truly dreadful ‘Your eighties’ is the reason why many music critics drink…. strong, hard, cheap liquor. More surprising is that Showstar have released a few other albums, so it’s not as though they are a band made up of a few bright eyed and bushy tailed kids who don’t know any better. Perhaps I could sense something about this record, maybe the reason I was delaying giving it a listen was because deep down, I kinda had a hunch it was going to go down like Aunt Josephine’s Prawn Salad. Photobucket