Switches – Lay Down The Law

Artist: Switches
Title: Lay Down The Law
Label: Interscope
Rating: 8.5/10

Corporate line:
It’s the third British invasion, and we’re third time lucky, as Switches sound more Beach Boys than Beatles or Blur. They may come from across the water, but the band’s self confessed spiritual home is our own west coast so there’s sunny harmonies amongst that London grime!

Best cuts:
“Lay Down the Law” – Rock cockiness with a little attitude with a of early Blur pop that leaned more towards disco than rock. The concoction makes it a must to rock your iPod.
“Coming Down” – The harmonies when pulled sweetly together almost reaches back to either the Beach Boys or the Partridge Family. At least somewhere in the middle they still can be cool enough.
“The Need To Be Needed” – When Switches breaks into this song you realize that they are indeed more the Beach Boys than the fake pop television family type. This is a killer song full of twists and turns and beautiful harmonies.
“Drama Queen” – A straight up rocker that sounds l like Tower of London stealing a Rolling Stones chorus.
“Every Second Counts” – A beautiful song that builds and builds right into the chorus with every member taking their shot at belting out a bit of the chorus into bliss.

The rest:
“Snakes and Ladders” – The song sounds right-on track until Switches jump into the chorus singing about “snakes and ladders.” It’s rock that quickly turns into nothing more than a farce.
“Message From Yuz” – “Last night I got a message from you” ends up composing most of the verses. The best part of the song is s small little break: “rip out your heart and give it to me.”
“Stepkids In Love” – Quirky, cute, and a bit bizarre. If you dig the styling of Ben Folds then you might find this fitting right in your library.

Even with a few tracks that can’t be regarded as hits, Lay Down The Law is a brilliant record. It’s certainly topping the list for the best releases of 2008 here in the States. Fans of Blur will love these guys more than fans of the Beach Boys, unless all you like of the Beach Boys is everything from Pet Sounds and beyond. Switches picks up where Blur’s The Great Escape left off and gives us a lot of hope for the future.


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