San Deigo's Transfer have a sound which is familiar. This album is like a magpies nest, with little trinkets lifted from all around and used to beautify their nest, or in this case record. There is no getting away from the comparisons with Athlete, The Killers, Elbow and Arcade Fire, and we all know that originality is the long road to fame, so why not take a few short cuts and nod your hat to those who have paved the way before you.
Transfer have stardom written all over them. They have the grandiose sound that is made for reverberating around a stadium. They have the quirky look that says 'we are coooool'. They also thankfully possess a drummer of Keith Moon proportions in Andy Ridley who rattles around that kit of his like a man on a mission. For all this I'm just not that into it. We have seen it all before and conviction, musicianship and a big sound can't distract from the lack of quality songs.
From the off front man Matthew Molarius does his best Brandon Flowers impersonation, which if he had the voice for it would work, but he just lacks the power and depth. Opener Losing Composure is only memorable for the brilliant drumming while Take Your Medicine (may we suggest Prozac) is middle of the road pop with a few bells and whistles and a whole lot of smoke and mirrors. We almost had our lighters in the air half way through My Suspicions. Yep, these guys can do cheese with the best of them, just check out Get Some Rest if you need further proof.
The San Diego Symphony add some much needed texture to this record and certainly contributes to the albums big sound. In amongst the mire of mediocrity there are a few gems like the Joy Divisionesque Enojado, again the drumming is the star but the reverb laden vocals are an inspired inclusion. The best track by a mile is the wonderful White Horse (which is a bonus track) with a great guitar riff that Ritchie Blackmore would be proud of and you know what, Matthew Molarius sound right at home as he nails it and shows he actually has a great voice, far better than the rest of this album suggests.
I have no doubt that this album will break these guys here in the UK and Europe. It has hit written all over it. I may not like it but I can see why millions will. One for fans of The Killers, Snow Patrol and Kings Of Leon for sure.