If ever there was a mission statement appropriate to a band, then it's We Should Be Dead's 'Forget Romance, Let's Dance!'. The Limerick quartet haven't totally obliterated all romantic notions, though; their new wave-embezzled stylings dart between lovelorn, pillow-weeping paeans and angry interjections regarding salacious wrongdoings. In other words, the boy-girl combo sure know how to write a catchy tune. There's little in the way of available information about this enigmatic foursome, apart from a flurry of estimable press quotes and a huge clue about their musical musings: ".. a love for the 'straight-to-the-point' three minute pop song", one extract states; "the kind of songs that would appeal to fans of everything!", another declares. Neither are far off the mark; though new wave and particularly Blondie are a glaringly obvious reference point for WSBD, there are elements of bands from Altered Images to The Ramones and No Doubt in their bubblegum kitsch sound. Not since The Chalets have an Irish indie band sounded so joyfully effervescent in their music-making - and as if the title track wasn't catchy enough, they've got the choons to boot, too. Frontwoman Tara Nix's full-bodied vocals are distinctly Debbie Harry-esque, but that's no real shortcoming when it's backed by songs as cool as the straight-outta-CBGB's I Fell In Love With You, or the grimy pop riff and r 'n' b attitude of Fuckin' Around. There's the occasional unexpected deflection-off-the-beaten track, too: For You's dreamy navel-gazing vaguely recalls Irish pop-rock bands from the nineties (Whipping Boy, Fatima Mansions), the slinky, understated What Brings You Down sees the buzz-glutted production take an altogether softer, more rounded turn, while closer Ladies Night veers askew yet again as the punkiest, heaviest track on the album. When all is said and done, though, We Should Be Dead aren't lying; if nothing else, you'll want to dance your arse off to practically every song on this fizzy, frothy gem of an album.
Review by Lauren Murphy | 09:00 | Thursday 31st January 2008 | Album Review