Another week, another pale quartet from England looking to sneak into American record buyers' hearts before Coldplay's upcoming album. Manchester's Long-View are well-meaning chaps: Like fellow Manc-rock outfits Doves and Elbow, they've responded to what they no doubt view as a cheapening of musical values--in the band's bio, singer Rob McVey warns against the dangers of "wearing a leather jacket and pretending to be from New York"--by making rock about truth and honesty and beauty. A few times on Mercury, Long-View's debut, McVey and his bandmates hit upon such a combination; it's easy to imagine a group of earnest choir boys piping in to add some majesty to the stately opener, "Further," especially once such a group actually materializes. But the reason Coldplay has made such a huge worldwide impact isn't its piety or the ethical way in which the band does business (despite Chris Martin's dogged attempt to divert attention from his cheekbones to the fair-trade cause). It's their willingness to dirty themselves in the open water of pop, to mix it up with Kelly Clarkson fans and provide prom-goers with a comedown from the latest 50 Cent single. Too often, Long-View sounds above that.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Dallas, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.