As sophomore albums go, The Enemy’s Music For The People pretty much went straight to the bottom of a pile of forgettable, turgid, and soulless follow-ups to decent debuts. So for those still clinging to the sounds of the mostly charming We’ll Live And Die In These Towns, Streets In The Sky offers something of a night out at the last-chance saloon.
40 minutes later, however, you’ll probably wish you’d stayed in. I’d like to say that Streets In The Sky is a slight improvement on their last effort, but even with these sub-zero expectations, I can’t. It’s fast, brash, and loud, but Tom Clarke’s lyrics are never too far away from overdone cliche as his voice drifts somewhere between that of Paul Weller and Rod Stewart in their 70s pomp, which basically leaves you wondering if you are listening to a bad cover band or perhaps a better question would be: Why the fuck don’t you just go and put on a record from The Jam or The Faces?
The Enemy wish they were The Jam and think that if they produce songs about single moms in council houses (’2 Kids’), nights on the town (‘Saturday’, ‘Get Up And Dance’), and escaping where you are from (‘It’s A Race’), then they are somehow relevant.
Half the songs you’ll swear you’ve heard before as they meander in a realm of the generic. This was also a glaring problem last time out. This lack of creativity or ability to move on really is a big problem for The Enemy, who clearly want so badly to make big, important rock anthems. You can’t blame a band for escaping reality — that’s part of the fun of success — but when you go back and show yourself to be completely out of touch with your subject matter, you’re never going to succeed.
A few decent tunes wouldn’t go amiss either, but after getting the feeling you’ve been bashed over the head with the same shit 12 times in a row, it’s probably best for everyone to just to walk away and forget this ever happened.