“This is Alphabeat” gives further weight to the growing suggestion that parts of the indie scene are suffering from a vastly emerging identity crisis. For those who are not familiar, Danish outfit Alphabeat are the next whimsical, 2-bit indie-pop band, dressed head to toe in obligatory retro dress which could easily be ripped straight from a clothing advert in Vice magazine.
It should therefore come as no surprise that the old cliché “style over substance” can immediately be applied to this album. Along with the likes of The Ting Tings and Sam Sparro, Alphabeat are just the latest in a long line of stylish retro acts devoid of any innovation or originality, in what is starting to feel like a really long musical Groundhog Day. Just like their counterparts, “This is Alphabeat” is another tiresome return to 1980’s synth keyboard, accompanied by jaunty effervescent guitar and wincing boy/girl vocals. First track “Fantastic Six” immediately demonstrates lyrical ineptitude, with lines like “They have crash helmets on. Just like Major Tom” almost cringe worthy. The bouncy catchy pop of tracks like “Boyfriend” and “Go-Go” seem more suited to pre-teen television, or perhaps even the Eurovision song contest, than anything else.
However, be under no illusion, this album will almost certainly be met with preset robotic enthusiasm from the usual Radio 1/ NME crowd. Singles, Fascination and 10,000 Nights have already achieved significant air play and the band’s success elsewhere does little to suggest they will fail here. Unfortunately it seems, the trend looks set to continue.