You have read the hype: “Your new favorite band” – New Musical Express. The backlash is surely just around the corner. Here’s the common sense: The View are four precocious pop-noise addicts from Dundee, Scotland, who have been playing their own songs for a year, are too young to drink in most states here and may be a little too drunk on the car-crash clatter of their favorite band, the Libertines. At New York’s Mercury Lounge, the first stop on a recent U.S. blitz, the View — singer-guitarist Kyle Falconer, singer-bassist Keiren Webster, guitarist Pete Reilly and drummer Steve Morrison — raced through sharp, bright miniatures from their debut album, Hats Off to the Buskers (1965/Columbia), with a sometimes wobbly ferocity. At one point, Webster and Morrison seemed to keep time at different speeds. But it was a brisk, endearing impatience (the set was a half-hour), and the airtight invention of “Wasted Little DJs,” “Superstar Tradesman” and “The Don” was strong enough to cut through, more like the ruffian-pop classicism of the Undertones than the defensive dynamite of Arctic Monkeys. Hats Off to the Buskers (out in the U.K., coming here in March) proves the View can play; the sound is more flying-V than raining shrapnel. When they figure out how to fuse the two live, in equal measure, the View will be better than the hype — they’ll have a future.
The La’s are a legendary example of British-pop flameout: a rush of love for their first shows and sparkling singles; then three years spent cutting a debut album, which the Liverpool band’s obsessive singer-guitarist Lee Mavers disowned on release in 1990. The La’s (Go! Discs) is classic modernist jangle, but BBC in Session (Go! Discs) — four 1987-90 studio dates for British radio — may be the album he wanted to make, with a live, warm gallop to “Doledrum,” “There She Goes” and “I Can’t Sleep” that is more naturally Beatlesque than anything in Oasis’ catalog. Don’t choose between The La’s and the BBC set. Buy both — it’s like getting With the Beatles and Rubber Soul at the same time.
Field of Fire: Deluxe (Reaction) is a double-vision reissue of Television guitarist Richard Lloyd‘s second solo album: a CD of the complete 1987 release; another CD of Lloyd freshening the rushed, dated production on the original tapes with new vocals and more guitars. They are both great albums. The first highlights the Keith Richards-style bite Lloyd brought to Television’s guitar poetry; the second peels back the reverb and emphasizes the slicing force Lloyd brings to every stage.