This ‘View’ article was written by Helen Daly, a GIGsoup contributor
It was back in 2007 that The View were propelled onto Indie disco fame with the always popular, ‘Same Jeans’. Despite being 8 years old the song still holds that sense of youthful glee. Skip forward a decade, and unlike many indie bands of that time, The View are still going strong, and have just released their new album, Ropewalk.
The opening track on the album, ‘Under the Rug’, sounds undoubtedly like The View – Kyle Falconer’s strong Scottish accent pours over the funky bass throughout the verses and there are those distinctive plucky guitars so reminiscent of albums past
Continuing along the funky base line, the band’s ode to weddings, ‘Marriage’, is also accompanied by pleasant harmonies and a delicate guitar. Quite a far cry from the made-for-festivals sound usually associated with The View, but certainly a welcome addition to their back catalogue for sure.
You can tell that this is a band that has matured, primarily in an investigation of ‘Living”s lyrics. Opening with, ‘Twenty to eight this morning, I hear the baby yawning‘, this is a band who now have to worry more about changing nappies than changing their jeans on a regular basis. It’s not just their lyrics which point to a more mature sound for the band; ‘Talk About Two’ sounds like it’s straight out of the fifties with its crooning sound and do-wap style harmonies. The chorus has a touch of the ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and comes together with everything to create a delightfully romantic and gentle sound for the band. Another stand-out is ‘Psychotic’, describing a partner who has two sides. ‘Only time I am lonely is when I am with you‘ cuts through the chorus and works incredibly well as a ballad, creating a somber image with its powerful lyrics. Likewise, ‘House of Que’s’ also makes use of the band’s terrific harmonies throughout. The chorus sounds delightfully epic, mixing those harmonies with violins and an underlying bass.
Alas, The View we know of old are never really that far away. ‘Tenement Lights’ has the same fun and cheeky vibe we’re used to, and like ‘Under the Rug’, the track could easily be a festival favourite. Likewise, ‘Cracks’ bursts onto the album and is evocative of an early Jamie T, with its indie rap-esque verses and shout-along chorus. ‘Penny’ seems like the ‘Mardy Bum’ of the album, with the catchy bridge happily revealing, ‘I need a second to tie my shoes, gonna tie my shoes and come find you. I need a second to tie my lace, gonna tie my lace for your embrace.’ The song is peppy and cheerful; its youthful, romantic vibe is undesirably addictive.
Overall, Ropewalk is a genuinely strong return for Dundee rockers. With Albert Hammond Jr’s guiding hand at the production desk they’ve created a distinctively fresh new sound; the album is incredibly diverse and showcases a band who really know what they want to play, not what they have to.