Just when you thought landfill indie — disposable tunes from bands with guitars — had gone away, up pops Ten Tonnes. He’s at the posher end of the genre, more The Kooks than Pigeon Detectives, but it’s formulaic. He lifts it above the routine by being bright and breezy, and he (Ten Tonnes is Ethan Barnett) can write a good tune.
Apparently aware of his tendency to the formulaic, Barnett cites Elvis Costello and Tom Petty as influences to put critics off the trail, but that’s not fooling anyone. More like Busted and the The bands Fratellis and Kooks.
Fair dos: he’s written many of the tunes himself although there are several co-writes; we spotted Nick Hodgson in the credits — he was a Kaiser Chief whose solo album was ironically a little less enjoyable than this — and it is enjoyable, if lightweight. Ex-Maccabee Hugo White joins in too, producing and adding lyrics.
Opener Lucy is about par for the course: jaunty, catchy chorus, sounds a bit like The Kooks. G.I.V.E. repeats the idea of Noah and The Whales’ L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N., just for people who can only be arsed to shout back four letters at live shows (you can see him, stage front, mic outstretched, getting the crowd going). Later on Countdown offers crowds the same chance, taking in the numbers five down to one.
Young people and daytime radio will lap it up. Good luck to him.
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