thu 25/04/2024

CD: McBusted - McBusted | reviews, news & interviews

CD: McBusted - McBusted

CD: McBusted - McBusted

Watch what happens when two pop-punk boybands collapse into one

McBusted: cartoonish in every respect

The story of Busted and McFly was a weird case of pop lightning striking twice. Busted, an early 2000s attempt to put together a boyband-with-guitars for girls who don't like boybands, was a huge success – not least because one of its members, James Bourne, proved to be an extraordinarily deft bubblegum pop-punk songwriter.

But not only that, but another auditionee for Busted, the then also teenaged Tom Fletcher, was taken on by the management as part of the band's writing team, and as apprentice to Bourne proved to be at least his equal – spawning offshoot band McFly, multi-platinum albums and all.

Add another lightning strike to the unlikely story. Because after the inevitable stresses of fame, splits, rehab, petering out of success with ageing audiences and all the rest, the two bands are now one: all the original members of both bands bar Busted's desperate-to-be-taken-seriously Charlie Simpson are now a single entity and selling out arenas like it's nothing. And – thankfully – they are still doing exactly what marked them out in the first place: to whit, fusing the relentlessly catchy but disaffected skate-and-tattoo punk of bands like Blink-182 and Jimmy Eats World with musical nods to the Beatles, Monkees and Beach Boys, and a fantastically British sense of gentle self-mockery.

Somehow, now that they're on the cusp of their thirties, this suits the six-piece as well as it did 10 years ago – there's plenty of sense of time passing, opportunities missed and pop culture passing one by in place of time travel and crushes on teachers, which just adds piquancy to the bittersweet songs. The songs are mostly under three minutes, as they should be, and even the 15-track deluxe edition is a refreshing 48 minutes; the opening one-two of "Air Guitar" and "Hate Your Guts" (the latter actually featuring Blink-182 leader Mark Hoppus), and the strangely natural sounding electro confection "Riding on my Bike" in particular, are little short of perfect pop. There are dips in quality, but not many, and overall it's a success as bafflingly impressive as the back story.

There's plenty of sense of time passing, opportunities missed and pop culture passing one by


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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