Published Dec 12, 2008From now until January 13, I'll be featuring my favourite tracks of 2008, some of which have already appeared in Click Hear throughout the year, some of which haven't.
One regret I had in Click Hear this year was that I kept putting off this track until it became too late to feature it. Thankfully, it was such a highlight in 2008 that it ended up here.
Having missed their boat over here in North America when they were unable to get their visas in time, Eel Pie Island, London's Mystery Jets were unable to promote their first LP, ZooTime (a collection of songs from their UK debut, Making Dens), properly. Perhaps this was what led to them being label-less when it came to album number two but whatever it was, they seemed revitalized when it came time to jump into the studio with superstar DJ Erol Alkan and the legendary Stephen Street acting as producers.
Released in March, Twenty One far exceeded its predecessor in ambition and coherence. Maybe it was their youth shining through after Henry Harrison, the grey-haired father of drummer Blaine, left the band's permanent line-up - likely not - but all of the idiosyncrasies that made Making Dens stick out like a sore thumb felt channelled through some more accessible means.
"Two Doors Down" is the perfect example of how close these guys are to reaching the level of a massive act like Dexy's Midnight Runners in the early '80s. With all of its layers converging to perfection, the song demonstrates all of the band's strongest features: songwriting that offers both an unforgettable chorus and an endearing story, fluttering keyboards, a great danceable beat, a variety of flattering guitar textures and a nice sprinkling of some sexy sax.
And yet there were no labels on this side of the Atlantic willing to pick this up and give MGMT a run for their money. What a shame.