Few The Few

So many bands seem to stumble through their first couple of years without much of a clue what to do. The Few, on the other hand, have it all worked out. They met in school, listened to all the proper records before writing their own songs (the Replacements, Elvis Costello and the Beatles) and were willing to travel across the U.S. just to work with the guy who produced some of their favourite records. So that means that their self-titled debut should sound more accomplished than most first records, and in a lot of ways it does. Jake Burnside’s vocals sound like a more well-adjusted version of Conor Oberst, something which might have something to do with the production of Andy Lemaster (who has previously worked with Bright Eyes), but it definitely doesn’t do them any harm. The music is just what you’d expect considering who they listened to in their formative years — no-nonsense guitar rock that isn’t too hard on the ears. Most of the more immediate pop songs lined up in the first half of the album, with the quieter songs that take a few listens to grow (such as "Dead Flowers”) hidden towards the end. It’s a strong debut, and it just goes to show that being organised does pay off. (PSB)