The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - LAU­REN MURPHY

Con­crete Love

[PIAS] Co­op­er­a­tive ★★★

They’ve sold enough gig tick­ets to be deemed a “band of the peo­ple”, and the likes of Noel Gal­lagher and Mor­ris­sey have pub­licly ex­tolled their virtues. Still, Cour­teen­ers have never quite won over crit­ics. Their fourth al­bum is un­likely to change that, largely be­cause Con­crete Love fails to of­fer any­thing be­yond their an­themic in­die-rock. Ad­mit­tedly, Liam Fray coins the odd nifty lyric, as when he pokes fun at his so-called ar­ro­gant image on In­ter­na­tional: “You wanna talk about cocky? I’m like Muham­mad Ali tag-teamed with Rocky”. Even so, the Manch­ester four-piece present lit­tle more than the surg­ing gui­tars and power cho­ruses heard on How Good It Was and Sabo­teur. The Ar­cade Fire-style flour­ish of horns on Small Bones is promis­ing, but it’s not quite enough to make these per­fectly pass­able songs re­mark­able in any way. the­cour­teen­ Down­load: Small Bones, Dream­ers

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