Single Review: The Gay Blades – Not Having Done Nothing (Something in Construction)
Despite the fact that the accompanying press sheet comes packed full of glowing snippets from respected publications, it is difficult to understand exactly what The Gay Blades have done to deserve these accolades.
Essentially, ‘Not Having Done Nothing’ is a simple, sugary slice of good old-fashioned American pop-punk. Once consumed, its chorus of stomping guitars and ‘oh-ohs’ sits in your mind like bubble-gum in the stomach. This isn’t a bad thing, but it has all the stale hallmarks of the output of bands such as New Found Glory 5-10 years back — the saccharine voice, the sing-alongs and the lyrics about the ladies. I suspect The Gay Blades are trying to come across as garage-rock duo with a knack for writing a pop hook, but the gleaming over-production lets them down and you don’t even notice a song-writing talent that negates the need for a bassist.
Supposedly, they’ve been likened to bands such as The White Stripes, Bright Eyes and Beck, but these comparisons are frankly, unearned and inappropriate. Yes, there’s only two of them, a drum and guitar combo like The White Stripes, but they lack the authenticity of the White family. Yes, the singer has a slightly nasal voice, like Conor Oberst, but it lacks the fragility that makes Bright Eyes so appealing and yes, the Beck reference is just plain baffling. On the evidence of this song The Gay Blades are in no way as innovative. Don’t rule them out yet though, ‘Not Having Done Nothing’, whilst hardly innovative, is a well-written, catchy tune, it just feels like something has been lost in the recording process.
Written for 4or The Record