Have you ever wondered what Morrissey might have sounded like singing over The Cure’s Just Like Heaven? This Many Boyfriends have, and with Tina Weymouth, the first track on their debut long player, they have a stab at giving you an answer. Musically, the song is pretty much a cover of The Cure classic, and it’s exuberant- if slightly slavish- execution sets the tone for the rest of the album. This Many Boyfriends are pretty clear where they’re coming from; a bedsit world obsessed with the droll wit and ramshackle guitars of 80s DIY indie. There’s no pretence- stand out track I Don’t Like You (‘Cos You Don’t Like The Pastels) is a perfect punk shout along that explicitly details the bands love for relatively obscure shoddy C86 outfit The Pastels. It’s an homage, it wears its influences proudly,and it’s done well.
There is a certain tongue-in-cheek quality running through, with the Johnny Marr jangle of previous single (I Should Be A) Communist offering a wry take on politics that both references and undercuts the left leanings of the 80s music scene (sample quote: “I should be a communist// I tried, I failed, I’m far to decadent…”). Although there is nothing new here, with every riff and lyrical inflection beholden to bands gone by, TMB’s genuine affection for the sound and style they are aping elevates the album beyond being a stale reproduction. Pop music will always have its revivalists, and when they come with as many stuck-in-your-head-for-weeks chorus’s as this lot, they’re welcome round here any day. 7/10