The View Hats Off to the Buskers

When the Libertines debuted in 2002, who would have guessed they’d be responsible for spawning so many monsters? The Kooks, the Holloways and the Rifles, among others, have all done well biting Pete’n’Carl’s style. Perhaps no band have done a better job though than Dundee, Scotland’s the View. Almost immediately they earned reputations as troublemakers, hanging out with Doherty, flooding hotel rooms, riding a scooter in their local pub and repeatedly having to cancel a North American tour (once because of singer Kyle Falconer’s arrest for cocaine possession). Such attention has overshadowed their much-hyped debut album, Hats Off to the Buskers, an inflated puff piece put to tape by Owen Morris (Oasis, the Verve). The band’s biggest problem is their inability to sound like anything other than their heroes. A raucous tune called "Skag Trendy,” of all things, wastes no time establishing their worship, kicking into overdrive and sounding like Babyshambles on amphetamines. "Wasted Little DJs” and "Gran’s For Tea” also have no shame, with the same inebriated drawl and harmonious guitar leads the Libs fashioned. But there is a problem for all the naysayers just waiting to nail them to a cross: the View have an undeniable capacity for memorable choruses, and therein lies the problem. There’s little to find in the View if you’re searching for any shed of originality. Aping another band’s glory seems to be working for them but if they ever break out of that habit and find their feet, the potential is certainly there for something special. (1965/Columbia)