It’s early 2010 and the Class of ’07 Reunion is underway. These New Puritans are blanking the buffet, stoic as ever but un-recognisable to their ex-piers, an extra vanilla Sunshine Underground have turned up without dates, past their prime, Klaxons are “on their way” and NYPC are still wearing their old uniforms, sounding exactly as they did when we last saw them, which means they’re equipped with little more than two killer hits (‘Lost A Girl’ and the Metronomy Vs Girls Aloud-sounding ‘We Want To’). As ‘The Optimist’ fires 8 more largely forgettable synth-laden tracks it’s as impossible to muster contempt for them as feign excitement, even if there is an overall feeling that the band are desperately clawing at mainstream success via mediocrity. In the hardened disco drums of Sarah Jones, ‘The Optimist’ is, at times, better than OK, but ultimately it’s just that.

By Stuart Stubbs

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