In the category of British indie bands that never were, Dallas natives the Hourly Radio masquerade as mediocre Brit Pop with debut album History Will Never Hold Me. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s clear they may strive to capture the sounds of dear old Blighty, but the result is more an amalgam of whiny American emo. It wouldnâ€šÃ„Ã´t be such a disappointing modus operandi if it werenâ€šÃ„Ã´t apparent that ambitions were set on epic Radiohead experimentation and intimate Chris Martin falsetto vocals and grooves. Instrumental lead track â€šÃ„ÃºTravelsignsâ€šÃ„Ã¹ has an expansive, menacing and otherworldly quality to it. â€šÃ„ÃºNot a Victimâ€šÃ„Ã¹ triggers memory of Coldplayâ€šÃ„Ã´s â€šÃ„ÃºClocksâ€šÃ„Ã¹ with the rapid traveling drum pattern. Masters of accretion and chord progression, in its plenary state, the Hourly Radio album is pleasant cruising music. The crux of the problem is that none of the songs galvanize any heartfelt attachment. The lyrics, although angst-ridden, are banal rather than clever. “Oh, please forget I ever wanted you,” a dull sentiment from â€šÃ„ÃºPlease Forgetâ€šÃ„Ã¹ contributes to the loss of luster in an otherwise hummable track. Single â€šÃ„ÃºCrime Does Payâ€šÃ„Ã¹ would be superb for movie/television licensing, but is unlikely to halt the scanning radio station finger, unless it happens to belong to a Savage Garden fan.
In their best moments, traits of James broach on track â€šÃ„ÃºMeans to an End,â€šÃ„Ã¹ in their worst, a breakup ode, â€šÃ„ÃºHe Said/She Said,â€šÃ„Ã¹ Dashboard Confessional appears. The Hourly Radio has explored terrain in which they lack the tools and ability to properly summit. The precipice of distinction will elude this band.