Bringing two things together to make a whole doesn’t always work. Putting on sun cream while sandy is horrible. Eyes and shampoo are never gunna work together. But then other things make sense when they really shouldn’t; cheese and chilli (try it if you haven’t) or curry sauce on chips. When it comes to bands, I don’t think anyone would have thought that McFly and Busted would join forces to form a likeminded super group, but that’s what they did, and after a series of successful sold-out gigs, they decided the next step was a brand new joint album. But do they manage to fend off the new wave of young pop rock wannabes out there and work together to retain their former glories?
It’s got to be remembered that these dudes are no spring chickens anymore. With band members in their late 20s and early 30s they’ve gone through the adolescent pop punk stage, and although this still features heavily throughout the music, it has a certain grown up edge to it. Image is a thing that’s always been associated with both bands, and it’s something that spills through into the music, with each band member bringing their own unique stamp to tracks throughout the record. Air Guitar is the perfect album opener with its catchy riffs and big chorus, and one of the few tracks that feature that American punk twang – think of early Sum 41. Track Hate Your Guts even features American pop punk royalty in the shape of Mark Hoppus from Blink 182, and is fast paced fun that features spritely vocals and is over before it gets too overbearing.
The whole album has this overall mentality of looking back to youth. Maybe the boys are getting all nostalgic about their younger days; after wall there are at that awkward stage between having to grow up, but also wanting to carry on being free, single and partying. This is best shown on tracks such as Riding On My Bike with its 90s videogame sounds and frequent change in styles, or Back in Time which features some of the fun lyrics we all know the bands love to throw out: ‘Maybe I’ll spend my whole day on Tinder trying to find that face I remember’.
Getting the balance right for McBusted was always going to be the most important part, but in most cases they do this with ease. Get Over It is an album highlight and being the most poppy track on the record helps it stand out amongst the others. Genuinely feel good and with the best harmonising on the record, it just goes to show the boys can still come up with a well balanced classic when joining forces.
There are a couple of minor slip ups; Beautiful Girls are the Loneliest is trying too hard to be the albums answer to McFlys It’s all about You which it was never going to achieve, and Sensitive Guy, although featuring some light-hearted lyrics, just sounds a little cheesy. This is only a small criticism, and all is forgotten when Getting It Out kicks in with rock anthem inspired moments, giving the best reason for the boys to stay together, and is a sound they should definitely try to aim for if they get a chance to make another record.
Melding two bands together was always going to be difficult, but McBusted have achieved a lot here. Experimentation comes and goes along way with some great sections throughout, but I think they have only started to realise what they can achieve together with the future looking rosy.