When a band's press release talks of 'pivotal endorsements' and 'artist development' you instinctively understand what side of the corporate fence they are on. But [B]Sixpence NTR[/B] (to actually wri

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Sixpence None The Richer

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Sixpence None The Richer

When a band’s press release talks of ‘pivotal endorsements’ and ‘artist development’ you instinctively understand what side of the corporate fence they are on. But Sixpence NTR (to actually write that name feels like some kind of aesthetic crime) may have bigger forces behind them.

Because while they don’t want to make too much of it, there is a God-fearing subtext to these songs. The meandering, whimsical, mewling lyrics are probably deliberately vague lest their ‘niche market’ is defined as Christian rock.

They’re sung coquettishly and cutely by the cute, coquettish Miss Leigh Nash, a Maria McKee without the guts, a yodelling, emotionalising Gwen Stefani without the punk energy, a Natalie Merchant with even more simpering saccharine slop. It’s pleasantly plaintive in small doses on the likes of ‘Easy To Ignore’ and ‘We Have Forgotten’, but ‘Kiss Me’ sets the tone for the rest, like The Sundays with major chords, cloying, bland and skipping through the meadows. Then when they get ambitious on ‘Puedo Escribir‘, in which our heroes put a Spanish poem to music, it manages to be pretentious and utterly square at the same time.

Finally, proof that they truly are Satan’s double agents comes when the twat-bearded little pricks do a Sunny Delight-sweetened version of The La’s ‘There She Goes‘, custom-made for a fucking washing powder advert.

Sixpence? Is that all you got for your soul?