We live in an awkward time, a time where dollar giants Warner Bros. can sign a band from Coventry and use their marketing people to sell them off as ‘working class heroes’ or (even more cringeworthy) ‘the voice of the credit crunch.’ This band is The Enemy, after the decent debut ‘We’ll Live and Die in These Towns’ it was all eyes on the trio to see if they could pass the sophomore curse. They fail. ‘Music For The People’ is 43 minutes of bland noise which sounds like the worst 80s punk bootleg you ever heard. Honestly, the band sound like your dad and uncle just set up a (bad) Clash tribute band. They steal not only musically (London Calling = 51st State) but also seem to rob The Clash’s ideas rather than use them as a muse (Carrear Opportunities = Nation of Check Out Girls). Talking of a muse it leads us to another problem – vocals. It seems whilst Tom Clarke isn’t trying to be the new Joe Strummer he’s busy perfecting his Bellamy moans, the grit of ‘We’ll Live and Die..’ is gone, all that remains is an imposter.
It’s a shame really, the novelty of using tapes to record wears off as 51st State opens though it is a nice touch. No doubt the better tracks (of which there are a couple) will go down well in Wembley when the band support Oasis. However as a whole The Enemy have turned to borderline plagiarism as opposed to develop their own sound. The listener longs for the orchestral brilliance of ‘We’ll Live and Die in These Towns’ or the raw energy of ‘Away From Here.’
It seems the band think it easier to play along with whatever Warner want, a load of Clash rip-offs only with a glossy pop surface.. take this album for what it is – average at best.