Album Review: Felix Hagan & The Family – “Attention Seeker”
It’s impossible not to enjoy watching Felix Hagan & The Family. From the first time you see them set foot on stage, most recently with support slots for Frank Turner and on their own headline run, the seven piece are infectious and exciting, bringing a high energy party vibe to their set that only Andrew WK is usually capable of. The question mark remained however over whether they’d be able to successfully transfer this onto a less visual medium, but with debut outing Attention Seeker, they’re laying that lingering doubt well and truly to rest.
The campness of songs such as the title track and Gene Kelly is grin-inducing and utterly adorable, yet the songwriting is so sharp that it’s certainly more than just a passing novelty and doesn’t come across as twee. As far as influences go, it’s difficult to know where to start; from the aforementioned Frank Turner (Hagan has previously been a member of The Sleeping Souls) through to Lady Gaga, Glee, even a touch of Abba on Delirium Tremendous, where backing singers Tash Hodgson and Ellie Cowan have more of starring role than usual, there’s a bit of everything that’s defined pop music over the years across the 12 tracks on offer here.
That’s not to say Felix’s band are ripping anyone off, they just don’t shy away from taking something a bit kitsch, tearing it apart, layering over frantic keys and danceable melodies and turning it into one big celebration of life. In fact you’d believe that disco never died hearing the groove of Babe I Ain’t Comin’, and although Hey I Want You may owe a debt of gratitude to Meatloaf’s brand of musical theatre, there’s still plenty in Felix and his fam’s debut that keeps things both endearing and exciting.
Neither cringey or overblown, even on modern power ballad Burn Down This City, Attention Seeker is a great way to round out the year’s releases, offering optimism, joy and fist-pumping glory to end 2017 with a bang.
A high-camp outing that adds even more sparkle to Christmas, Felix Hagan & The Family's debut full-lengther is enough to put a grin on the face of even the sourest of Scrooges. Somehow transporting their live energy to record, the band knock it out of the park with a collection of instantly accessible, singalong hits.