For those in the world of the NME-centric hype machine, many bands from the UK enter the US via a New York packed showcase. Enter rising London bar band Razorlight last night at Sin-e supporting their debut, Up All Night. Sporting some serious ball-tight pants and white plimsouls, they were quite noticably "the band" with their Leif Garrett hair-dos de jour. Even the new drummer Andy Burrows didn't miss a beat, rockin' the "If You Think I'm Sexy"-era Rod Stewart look.
The lights dim, 22 year-old lead singer Johnny Bornell quickly launched into the first song. The guy is impassioned, he can kick it up a notch when need be. He can slow it down and almost sarenade you, too. Tunes like "Which Way Is Out", "Up All Night", "Leave Me Alone","Golden Touch" and "Rock and Roll Lies" have a traditional quality in the vain of '70s art rockers Television, sans the space and minimalism and more of the rock.
The highlight was "In the City", an epic building stormer. A story of looking for a lost love in the city complete with a mid-song diatribe about text messaging with a certain girl who's bugging Mr. Bornell via his mobile. Let it go! Dude has some Dr. Phil issues regarding his ladyfriends. Going shirtless was a bit Justin Hawkins, too. You may want to leave that to the Darkness for now.
The band did finish the show with the ultimate gig exit, though, walking out on top of the bar from the front of the room to the back, classic! Bravado is theirs. If you dig the Strokes, Television or the Vapors, this band is for you.
Pictured among the who's who in the crowd are: Mr. CMJ Jerry Rubino, MTV.com's Mike Fox, Cornerstone's John Majer, ultimate rock photographer Mick Rock and yours truly.