Like this review was ever going to be anything but positive. The Coral's self-titled effort may have caught the eye of the critics but when it comes to the finest debut album of 2002, the Lollies unreservedly get my crooked grin of approval.
Where to start? Opening track Flavour Of The Week berates the current tread of "selling out" in indie bands. The point being, if you are going to do it, do it properly: "It's part of our masterplan/to sip champagne on a yacht like Duran Duran" and whatever can they mean by "Fuck the charts, we'll make millions/selling mobile phones to the new bohemians"?
2001 single Channel Heaven also makes a welcome appearance. An NME review said that it would be loved by "long haired indie boys who read French poetry and think football ghastly". Well, I ain't got long hair, ain't ever read French poetry and love Football with a passion bordering on mental illness. I still think it's a brilliant song, so join me in waving two fingers to press dinosaurs.
The key to everything is that while one minute they have you crying into your beer, the next they'll have you jumping around spilling said beer all over your mate/significant other/psychopathic stranger. The best example of the former is Imaginary Boyfriend ("If I had a dollar for every time you say/sorry but I don't think about you that way"), the sound of the Smiths if Morrissey had been born XX. For the latter; try Office Romance - Da Do Ron Ron mashed together with the modern complexities of meeting "the corporate Clark Gable" - or Jonestown Mascara, the best song ever to include the word "peroxide". Really.
I could go on. I could mention killer horn riffs, wild west pianos and a bonus track that sounds like New Order in some alternative dimension. But all I really need to say is: there's not a duff track here. Go on, you don't need to take yourself that seriously all the time.
Kudos also for 2002's most well observed line: "Kissing leads to sex/like pot leads to heroin". Sweetness and bitterness aren't always so far apart. 9/10
Reviewed By Peter Mattinson
23rd of September 2002