Scams - Lost For Words [EP]
Scams. It's how it feels sometimes. You hear about an indie four-piece from Leeds (enough musical pedigree there) and get over-excited. You almost buy the hype because you desperately want something to reach out and grab you, to save you, to ease your mind from the hours of wondering you have done trying to figure out whether The Vaccines' status as saviours of British indie is a joke or not. And then you get this.
Unusually for a band from Leeds, Scams are a bit unsure of their identity. The root of all evil here is that they have too keen an eye on what's going on across the pond. Andy Morgan's vocals have an unhealthy Yank inflection and there's a suggestion of earnest American emo which makes you occasionally wince because, let's face it, there is more of this in the world than is practical. A time of austerity? Not in that genre, buddy.
This four-track EP hits its stride during 'Lions and Tigers and Bears' which is pitched just the right side of Fall Out Boy, driven by its strutting funk bass and pumped up chorus. Elsewhere 'The Gunfighter' mines the tropical funk of Vampire Weekend with nimble guitar work zipping about busily overhead like excitable flies.
However, 'Lost For Words' and 'Making Maps From Memory' are just too derivative. We've heard these riffs before (sometime back in 2001 if memory serves) and there is not enough muscle here to elevate these songs above their peers.