GAY DAD Leisure Noise (London)
Somewhere within the thunderball of hype that is (or possibly by now was) the Gay Dad phenomenon - in case you blinked and missed it, there's that name for a kick off, frontman Cliff Jones' shady past as an NME journalist, their 'controversial' withholding of the production and writing credits for "To Earth With Love" from the official singles charts listings, among other incidents - exists "Leisure Noise", their debut album. Judged away from the hysteria it establishes a surprisingly credible showing for itself: you never quite escape the feeling that Gay Dad's music is the product of an inkie hack trying to right the wrongs he's perceived in all the bands to have suffered his pen, and as a result "Leisure Noise" suffers from a sense of vacuum-packed perfection, a feeling that every word and note is intended to have ironic speechmarks hovering above it.
Nevertheless, so far this year I can think of nothing more unpretentiously pop as their debut single, "To Earth With Love", which remains as much of a glam-slamming stormer as when I first heard it, one of the rare moments when you might be fooled into thinking that Jones means it, man (especially the line "Aerosmith rule!"). It has a sense of ambition that builds and builds throughout the song, kind of like The Flaming Lips' "Race For The Prize" for 14 year-olds.
Jones' love of early 70s glam icons such as Bowie, Lou Reed and Marc Bolan is transparently obvious, but it doesn't prevent songs like "Oh Jim", "My Son Mystic" and "Black Ghost" being enjoyable, hummable things that probably don't exercise your mind as much as Gay Dad think they do, but are still a pleasant enough way of passing the time. Which pretty much sums up the entirety of "Leisure Noise": it won't change your life, but it might make you smile, and I suspect that, somewhere beneath all the bombast, that's enough. And it's a far better record than the last Suede album, if that counts for anything.