Yours Truly, Angry Mob

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Yours Truly, Angry Mob

Yours Truly, Angry Mob

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If he cared a whit about subtlety or nuance, Wilson could wrench deeper meaning from his pithy observations. The central flaw of Mob-- and it's a profound one-- is that its attempt to refine Employment's boundless levels of boyish vigor with introspection and intellect comes across as tired and bored. The rhythms were just as foregrounded, but drawn more from pub-rock and Britpop than Josef K and Joy Division, with banged-out piano runs and ramped-up choruses replacing chippy guitars and watertight drumming. They had the energy and enthusiasm of a group of soldiers on a weekend furlough, with Ricky Wilson leading a series of sing-alongs and sappy-but-heartfelt ballads. The band's debut album, Employment, and its proletarian bent sounded like a recipe for the broadest appeal possible: The Chiefs occasionally shared Jam-isms with the Futureheads, and could wank out a power ballad like Bloc Party, but their appeal was geared toward a larger audience than their art-school counterparts.

If your previous album was a slow-burning success story, it can be hard to be expected to hit the ground running on the follow-up. But On Mob, he's clearly trying for something more, yet seemingly unaware that he's caught in a rut. The band, in love as ever with the Britpop tradition that spawned them, offers another collection of swaggering uptempo guitar tracks that are full of big, singalong choruses.The album topped the UK Albums Chart and the band released the singles "Everything Is Average Nowadays" on 21 May 2007 and "The Angry Mob" on 20 August 2007. I Can Do Without You" is a half-hearted attempt at self-encouragement, and Wilson's not too sure he'll succeed, following the refrain with "but it won't be very good. Wilson was fine as a casual observer on Employment, and Mob's occasional, vague forays into social comment certainly illustrate that he'd do well to avoid too much editorializing.

Of course, he doesn't, which was fine when the band was content to wallop the listener over the head. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Wilson's preoccupation with failed (and failing) romantic relationships continues with "Love Is Not a Competition (But I'm Winning)" as the logical followup to Employment's "Everyday I Love You Less and Less", the sentiment from which was properly identified on this Web site in Joe Tangari's Employment review as barely concealed pining. If "Mob" ended with that bit of resignation, it would be fine, but the coda brings the groans, explaining the titular mass not as rowdy bar patrons or concert attendees, but society itself: "We are the angry mob, we read the papers everyday/ We like who we like, we hate who we hate, but we're oh so easily swayed.With a bit of distance, Employment certainly sounds like a debut record from a band rushed into the spotlight.

Wilson attempts to force a barroom competitor into independent thought: "You're winding yourself up until you're turning blue, repeating everything that you've read," before giving up: "It's only 'cause you came here with your brothers, too; if you came here on your own you'd be dead. Some user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. The Angry Mob" raises the stakes a bit, alternating clenched-teeth dares with limber capitulations, resulting in the album's most enjoyable song. Pitchfork may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. It was released on 23 February 2007 in Belgium and the Netherlands, 26 February 2007 in the rest of the world by B-Unique Records and in March in North America by Universal Motown.The band revealed to NME in October 2006 that they had recorded 22 songs and hoped to whittle that number down to 13 or 14 for the final album.

The final single "Love's Not a Competition (But I'm Winning)" was released as a collector's edition 7" single on 12 November 2007, with The Little Ones' cover of "Everything Is Average Nowadays" as a B-side.In Europe, Asia and America, "Learnt My Lesson Well" and "Boxing Champ" were added together to make one track, at a running time of 5:25. The self-hatred is capped on "My Kind of Guy", where Wilson abandons the ladies and finds a partner in despair, one who "sounds as horrible" as he does. He accidentally explains it best in "Thank You Very Much" (itself a pale retread of "I Predict a Riot"'s rhythm bed): "This should be a thrill, but it feels like a drill. It's perhaps not surprising that the band is unable to keep their Employment energy level intact, but Mob's level of cynicism seems a bit of an overcompensation, as if the second record is an extended dreary hangover from the drunken escapade of the first.



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