Label: Too Pure Release date: 14/12/09 Website: http://www.myspace.com/tapetheradio Londoners Tapetheradio (often typeset as the shout TAPETHERADIO) mastered their new single at historic Abbey Road Studios, are poised to be the new NME darlings, and have a popular Twitter account. By all means, it’s going in their direction. Well, it would be going their way if they didn’t sound like a collection of cleverly chosen ripoffs. From the delay guitar, tight snare, and buoyant bass, the hope for maybe a new take on The Cure’s sound wafts, like a carrot on a string. “You paved the way for my heart/it gets lonely/you shade the dust from my eyes,” whines M.C. under a blanket of effects. The song follows the conventional build up of a song, then breaks for a line for dramatic effect, builds up to a bridge, then ends on a chorus. All in fewer than three minutes, too! Wesley Willis would be proud of their frugality. B-side ‘Keep Talking’ fares slightly better, with a dronier guitar (but the lead riff is ‘Wave of Mutilation’ in a different key) and disco-pattern drums for the chorus, but again you get sub par Cure and Franz Ferdinand sounds. Masses of handclaps, group vocals, and even audience participatory “Hey!”s just make the song stale and outdated despite its recent release date. Maybe it’s the ennui of so many chirpy Britpop bands, or the thought of another band that sounds like The Cure, or the fact that Tapetheradio sounds like a bootlegger’s band, but the songs presented are not just less than the sum of their parts, they’re just plain boring. After listening to their single a half dozen times, I can conclusively say three things: 1.) This band can do something good, if they can mask their influences a little more. 2.) This band will be popular because they sound like other bands, so people will be drawn to that. 3.) This single is not a grower. You like it or you don’t. Personally, it does nothing for me. I hate to trash this since it’s like a debut single, but it’s just plain dull. I’ll spin their first album to see if they got better, but for now they’re just another band from London. Rating: 5/10