They've barely been on the scene a wet weekend, and already they're causing more splits than the seams of a hipster's skinny jeans - but White Lies are just that kind of band. Formerly known as Fear of Flying, the West London trio reinvented themselves in 2007, dipped their indie musings into a vat of '80s gloom-rock syrup, and came out the other side with a major label deal.
Even before the reviews started to roll in, though, White Lies probably would have been more than ready for the pigeon-holing. To deny their influences would be sheer folly, considering how brazenly they're displayed: a dollop of Cure here, a sprinkling of Interpol there, vocalist Harry McVeigh's tendency to emulate his heroes (Ian McCulloch, Julian Cope and Ian Curtis surely among them) rather than take inspiration for originality from them.
Yes, 'To Lose My Life' is an incontrovertibly derivative album, but only occasionally to its detriment. 70% of these ten tracks are impregnated with an atmospheric gloom, but the main problem is that each track suffers from a simple lack of a climax. Opener 'Death', for example, is softly-driven and well-constructed but is badly missing a payoff, as is the shimmering, unsettling 'Nothing to Hide'. The most rewarding tracks are the dark, Franz Ferdinand-at-a-funeral pop of 'Farewall to the Fairground' with its punchy chorus, and the enjoyable (if overwrought and overlong) organ-led 'Unfinished Business'. It's album number two that'll prove to be the real litmus test, however.