City Slang: “Are You Green?” revisited

It has been nearly 12 bloody years now since the Sights, led by self-confessed anglophile Eddie Baranek, unleashed this debut album and caused a ripple, to their inevitable delight, over in Blighty. “Detroit” is a stamp of quality in England, like putting “Angus” on beef, so a Detroit band paying tribute to their own was always going to please the Brits.

They made a few waves over here, and the subsequent albums saw the band mature as song writers and musicians. But there’s a real joy, a youthful energy, on the debut that no band can fake. The Sights are a formidable live band now, but the Sights that recorded the debut were something different. Hey, we all grow up.

Have a look on Amazon, and you find an accusation that the Sights were just a rip off of Supergrass. That isn’t true, although the comparison is sound. The latter’s I Should Coco album is poppy but also very garage rock, and the tunes fall somewhere between Merseybeat and Jam-esque rock. Those same things can be said about the Sights.

But the Sights are no more a Supergrass rip off than Supergrass are a Jam rip off. They just have similar influences. Plus, over the entirety of an album, the Sights have better songs. For all the members that have come and gone, Baranek has remained the difference. He is simply a spectacular song writer.

So every single song on this album is awesome, from the opening “All Night Long Stay”, though “Sorry” and “I Can’t Stand You” to the closing title track. The pop sensibilities blend seamlessly with the scuzzy guitar, the Beatles-esque harmonies and the super-sweet lyrics to create an album that sounds timeless.

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