Athletes In Paris
The Animal Farm
Fresh, major chord, mass appeal pop with a large, upfront production. Athletes In Paris are from Newcastle and have supported a range of artists including Frankie & The Heartstrings and The Futureheads. Don’t let that fool you though; yes, they have the requisite regional accent but this about as musically broad as you can feasibly get whilst referring to yourself as ‘Indie Pop’.
The lead track on the single, ‘Borrowed Time’ has Radio 2 written all over it; inoffensive and meaningless bringing to mind sweeping shots of a half attended afternoon festival slots. The production here is clean and hi-fi – they are a T4 band, basically. With the right song they could easily be polluting daytime television, no problem.
This isn’t the right song though. It’s a good starting point for the ambitions they have; the pounding 4/4 beat (a trick repeated on the 2nd track) that gets you moving, the approachable acoustic guitar backed with a slightly chimy / slightly funky guitar. As an antidote to the many lo-fi demos RB receives I didn’t mind it at the start… but it quickly becomes repetitive and doesn’t build to the euphoric crescendo this kind of thing needs to. They try it with that trick in pop songs where they layer up the words from the verse with the words from the chorus at the end. You know that one? Yeah, great. Ultimately, any good vibe from the fresh opening is worn away through repetition and the lack of any edge whatsoever. A tennis ball has more edge than this.
As mentioned, the B-Sides basically remix the same tricks. I can honestly see a certain type of person loving this; if my mention of it ‘not having edge’ makes you huff, then it’ll be right up your street. It’s ‘up’ and fresh-faced, but ultimately it’s summer fluff.