April 21, 2009

Mod-A-Day: Ordinary Boys

Sadly, it took a reality show to get the Ordinary Boys some much needed exposure to go with the critical acclaim they'd been garnering all on their own. While the original army are well aware of the band's heavy mod/britpop sound, the rest of the world has been a little slow on the uptake. The band's sound ranges from obvious adoration of Madness and The Specials, to clearly being influenced by The Who, The Kinks and The Jam. And of course nicking a band name from a Smiths' song gives just a hint of where this band is coming from. And throughout there's no doubt that they are a product of the 90s Britpop explosion.

Starting out in 2002 as Next In Line, they changed their name and moved more into synch with the new post-punk sound sweeping the musical world. Their first big break was "Week In, Week Out" a top 40 chart hit from their 2004 debut album Over The Counter Culture -- which also boasted two other top 40 hits. The Ordinary Boys drew upon the mod revival, as well as ska and power pop, to put together two solid albums, but still were unable to break into the music buying public's awareness in any really significant manner.

The band finally became better known in Britain thanks to lead singer Samuel Preston's appearance in 2006 on Celebrity Big Brother UK. After that "Boys Will Be Boys" from their second album was re-released and went to #3 on the charts and became the band's biggest hit. Their following third album How to Get Everything You Ever Wanted in Ten Easy Steps was a bit poppier and more electronic than previous releases and entered the charts at #15. In spite of being their best charting album it went on to be their least successful in sales.

The song here, "Over The Counter Culture", is indicative of their early sound with more of a mod revival and post-punk influence than would be apparent in later releases.

Ordinary Boys -- Over The Counter Culture