**Used - Sleeve/NM Media/NM - Original Pressing - Rare**
Their debut's more than a potential premature-ejac joke, but not only was the Paddingtons' combat pub-rawk done better by the London-callers their album cover aesthetic emulates, it was redone OK in the 1990s, too. The Paddingtons take those models and also draw from punk's streamlined late-'90s MTV hangover. Recent single "Sorry" spryly concocts a Strokes-182 with its slurred vocal, chiming downstroked distortion, and adolescent banality: "Sorry, hope you're feeling happy now/ Hope you're feeling happy now/ I am gone." There's even the swaying, melodramatic bridge of a prototypical pop-punk anthem. Repetitive emo jawn "Worse for Wear" and urgent, embittered opener "Some Old Girl" likewise summon 41 or so greener days.
Producer Owen Morris, yep from (What's the Story) Morning Glory, is likely a big reason the British press has breezed over such comparisons. He leaves the Paddingtons' recordings with ragged, live-sounding warmth, as opposed to the blocky hamfisting of much U.S. radio punk. Singer Tom Atkin's undeniable Englishness, from off-key burr to would-be rebel yell, is another factor. It's probably not a coincidence the album's most noteworthy song is "50 to a £", a burst of hooky heartbreak as British as the Buzzcocks.
The song is also decidedly anti-drug (Atkin scolds an ex-lover, "And when you're comin' down..."), pitting the Pads lads as counterpart to Pete Doherty's eve of self-destruction. For good measure, dark teeth-rattling back-and-forth "Panic Attack" finds Atkin rasping, "You wanna die? Go on, keep committing suicide." Not quite "STAY OFF THE CRACK," but London ain't burning and these guys are straight, hippy Johnny. Then "Stop Breathing" unfortunately eschews Pavement-coverage for half-baked homicidal urges, "Alright in the Morning" skanks through Brixton hands on empty head, and rambunctious 2004 single "21" dervishes about and breaks things.