Release Date: Sep 11, 2015
Record label: Cooking Vinyl Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
The View's fifth full-length studio album, 2015's Ropewalk, features more of the Scottish outfit's exuberant and lyrical post-punk sound. Produced by the Strokes' guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr., Ropewalk also includes production from Swedish-born engineer Gus Oberg (the Strokes, Moby, the Postelles) and mixing from Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend, Ra Ra Riot, the Strokes). The album follows up the band's well-received 2012 effort, Cheeky for a Reason, which reached number one on the U.K.
That the release of ‘Ropewalk’ was delayed while frontman Kyle Falconer checked into the Hope Clinic in Thailand – the same rehab facility as Pete Doherty – to kick an addiction to drugs and alcohol, will do little to erase the old 2007 perception of The View as ‘Liberteens’ – four caners who worshipped the ground that Doherty had passed out on. It’s a shame, because the Dundonian band have proved themselves willing to chance their arm creatively – no more so than here.On their fifth album, producer Albert Hammond Jr – assisted by his longtime Strokes’ collaborator Gus Oberg – provides kindling for The View’s fire. His first job as boss was to rip up the demos Kyle and co brought.
Now 10 years old, Dundee quartet The View may still only be in their twenties but did they peak too early? As teenage post-punk pretenders, their first album, the Mercury Prize-nominated, chart-topping Hats Off To The Buskers, was chock-full of ear-grabbing hooks, rollicking tunes and sing-along choruses shot through with hyperactive energy. After a messy, undercooked follow-up, the next two albums were not bad efforts but lacked the creative fizz of their debut. Now, after three years – the band’s longest gap between albums – their fifth offering, Ropewalk, tries a different tack.
It seems like an awfully long time ago now that The View’s debut full-length, ‘Hats Off to the Buskers’, went straight in at Number One; in actual fact, it was as recently as 2007. The conditions were ripe for it to happen, of course; January’s a graveyard for new releases, and their ramshackle blend of Britpop and The Libertines certainly seemed to strike a populist chord. The Dundonians were, however, ill-rewarded for their ambition on 2009’s follow-up, ‘Which Bitch?’, and accordingly have seemed to shrink back into their comfort zone ever since; ‘Bread and Circuses’ and ‘Cheeky for a Reason’ were both uninspiring, and the release of a greatest hits collection in the form of ‘Seven Year Setlist’ in 2013 suggests they were simply in desperate need of a reason to tour.