TINY DANCERS – Free School Milk (Parlophone)

I was urged to try this album by a friend who raved about the band, saying that they were like no other group that he had heard. On hearing their album I have to admit that he was right, but not necessarily in the way that he meant. Any band who names themselves after one of Elton John’s better songs is starting off on the right lines, but after the thumping indie rock of opener ‘20 To 9’ ‘I Will Wait For You’ disappoints by having a dated reggae rhythm, and the twee ‘Baby Love’ is a pale imitation of it’s more famous name-sake. ‘Ashes And Diamonds’ attempts to claw back some credibility with a slow burning AOR power ballad, but then they blow it all with irritating ‘Bonfire Of The Night’ – all hand-claps and whistling. ‘Hannah, We Know’ has a rollicking rockabilly beat and is not too bad, but ‘Sun Goes Down’ is a bit too gimmicky for its own good. ‘Breathing In The Dark’ is a pleasant ballad, and works because the band tone down the happy-clappy attitude, but it returns for ‘Russian Snow’, which by rights should be a tear-drenched ballad. I would not say that this album in itself is boring or particularly bad, but it just sounds so dated when compared to the innovative work that other bands are producing today, and to which, in 2007, I would much rather listen.