Whoever would have thought back in 2003 (when McFly were being groomed as the successors's to Busted's radio-friendly pop-punk throne) that they'd still be around four albums later? And not only that, but they'd have left their major label deal and released that fourth album on their own Super Records imprint? It's fair to say that the Londoners' initial forays into the chart world could be best described as 'harmless'; these were innocuous pop songs that mums was just as likely to love as their teen daughters.
Originally released as a freebie with The Mail on Sunday in June, Radio:ACTIVE is confirmation that although McFly have 'grown up', their sound has developed little since that first pep-tastic record. And though they'd probably be more interested in emulating Blink-182 than Busted these days, many of the tracks here are middle-of-the-road, guitar-led rock that suggest the quartet have been binging on Springsteen and Petty's back catalogue - which Everyone Knows and Falling In Love are both illustrative of.
Aside from all the turgid rock, though, there are some passable attempts at creativity, even if they're largely impaired by Danny Jones's ridiculous American singing voice (an image the band rely heavily on, in truth). Lies and Corrupted provide exuberance with their respective bounce and grunge, and there's a stream of pomp-rock running through many of these songs that nod to Queen, on occasion. Even so, McFly's inclination to write songs that could soundtrack toothpaste ads (Smile) means that they'll always be a band that fills a gap in the market - no more, no less.