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Cheeky Wankers Whine

Arab Strap
The Week Never Starts Round Here
(Chemikal Underground/Matador)

After hearing this groups brilliant second album Philophobia, I figured that I really couldn't go wrong with checking out their debut disc. They had released it two years previously overseas, and it got its re-release in the US after the above-mentioned disc caught on. Instead of having an overall, solid feel, though, The Week Never Starts Round Here unfortunately sounds more like a demo tape than a solid debut disc.

The reason it sounds like more of a demo tape than an actual release is because the group sounds like they're trying out tons of different styles to see what works instead of feeling comfortable with what they're doing. Although sometimes a larger body of experimentation (and not really good experimentation at that) works on a disc, here it feels even less confident than most debut discs I've heard, and much more disjointed. In the end, only about half of the tracks on the disc work very well (including the excellent, rollicking track "The First Big Weekend") and help save the disc, while the rest of them just end up sounding like filler. If you're a diehard fan of the group and want to hear some of their early efforts, check it out.

Rating: 5