Hockey - Mind Chaos (**)
album review for the skinny
Showing some admirable self-awareness, Oregon's Hockey use the first song on their first album to pre-empt what they know is going to be a recurring criticism of their band: singer Ben Grubin's extravagantly affected vocal style. "Look out, cos I'm just too fake for the world, oh you know it's just a game to me" he squeals, yells, and coos, but that confession doesn't make his flagrant oversinging any more palatable. I'd say it was a shame, but it's a USP they'll work to their advantage in some quarters: if you catch yourself thinking Brandon Flowers has got himself rather over-excited, or that Razorlight have got much funkier, you're probably listening to Hockey on Radio One. There's a few good ideas here -- the lilting backing vocals on third track Learn To Lose are particularly nice -- but they're outweighed by repeated resort to modern rock cliche; and everything's overshadowed by Grubin's histrionics on the mic.