Once I Was An Eagle
There is one facet of Lawson that they are desperate that we recognise: they are not a boy band.
This is fair enough: the guitar-based quartet wrote all of these songs (at a house in Chapman Square, London that lends this debut its title), play their own instruments, have paid their dues on tour with The Wanted and have no dance routines. But… and there was always going to be a but…
In their own way, Lawson are every bit as calculated as a One Direction or a JLS. Their perky, glossy yet ultimately anodyne anthems are aimed fair and squarely at the tweenie market that has outgrown Bieber but isn't yet ready for Coldplay.
Singer Andy Brown claims the songs are inspired by breaking up with a long-time girlfriend but little angst or heartbreak seeps through this pert, spunky yet soulless power-pop. The formulaic Standing In The Dark is merely a string of clichés; the self-pitying Everywhere You Go is so wet you could virtually wring it out.
Musically, Chapman Road is a highly capable debut: Joel Peat's cascading, skyscraping guitar on closing track The Girl I Knew even suggests a tween-friendly U2. But beneath Lawson's ultra-slick surfaces, there is not a lot going on.