I like Chelsea. They were present on a number of different punk compilations that I have heard over the years. This album is a new one for the band, and it is important because it features the trio of James Stevenson, Chris Bashford, and Gene October. This trio was integral in creating the Chelsea sound, and they have not been together in the recording studio since 1979.
â€œLiving In The Urban U.K.â€ shows that the band has not lost their fire. The sound has much in common with the original albums of Chelsea, which gives individuals hope that the act will not be pandering exclusively to the new, Green Day-influenced generation. The slower sound of the opening track is dropped for the harder rocking and quicker trapping of â€œSod the Warâ€. â€œBad Adviceâ€ is a track that brings even more in the way of catchy choruses and memorable lyrics to listenerâ€™s ears. Each track on â€œFaster, Cheaper, and Better Lookingâ€ brings something new to the listenership. By the time that the band gets to â€œNew Utopiaâ€, Chelsea has a very solid foundation with which to build on.
Having this in place, the band can just go on cruise control and put out track after track, hit after hit. This does not mean that the band is static after the first few tracks of the disc, as a song like â€œCosy Family Wayâ€ is much more slower and really comes out of left field. These shocks to the system may confuse some individuals, but I feel that they are necessary as they keep the disc fresh and ensure that individuals can stick to the disc. The songs may all be solid and catchy on their own, but there is not a song present that will break Chelsea big again. While individuals that already know about Chelsea will enjoy this album, the individuals that missed out on the band previously are not going to catch on to the infectious beats and (at times) sharp commentary on â€œFaster, Cheaper, and Better Lookingâ€. This is sad, as Chelsea makes a play for the title of best reunion of the last five years; the band members may be thirty years later, but they have not lost one step in their sound. If you know of anyone that is looking for new acts to check out, point them in the direction of this album. Iâ€™m sure they will not be disappointed.
Top Tracks: Sod The War, Home
Chelsea â€“ Faster, Cheaper, and Better Looking / 2007 TKO / 14 Tracks / http://www.chelseapunkband.com / http://www.tkorecords.com / Reviewed 15 June 2007