That one of the tracks on this, [a]Cube[/a]’s debut LP, is titled ‘What The Hell Is Lo-Fi?’ says it all really. For [a]Cube[/a] are a Big. Rock. Band. ‘Fast Food’ – polished, ostentatious, luxuriously expensive – is a record which has no truck whatsoever with lo-fi. Cube sound like they demo at Abbey Road, they just wouldn’t know what to [I]do [/I]with a four-track.
And that, in itself, is no bad thing. [a]Cube[/a] aren’t the kind of band who are going to be satisfied with support slots, toilet tours, Number-34-in-the-indie-charts; they want Wembley, [I]Top Of The Pops[/I], world domination. Lord knows, if rock music is gonna survive into the 21st century as a vital cultural force, we need bands who [I]aren’t [/I]going to accept indie ghettoisation, whose grasp reaches further.
Shame, then, that on the basis of ‘Fast Food’, [a]Cube[/a] aren’t that band. Oh sure, it’s an opulently detailed, immaculately played record, and singer Chris Langdon has an impressive vibrato vocal range. For every excellent T Rex/Stooges-esque rock’n’roll kick-out (‘Natural Millionaire’, ‘Scrounger’), however, there are too many maudlin, Radiohead-by-numbers ballads (‘Piano Song’, ‘Disguise My Youth’), dragging [a]Cube[/a] straight back down to earth.
With their swagger, their promise, they should be strutting like superheroes. But they’ve been seduced by some hankering to be taken ‘seriously’, by some miserablism which doesn’t suit them. Better luck next time.