A smirking diary of being young, British, and "lairy" (aka "boozed up"), Employment is perfect for a night down at the pub. That's where most of this debut appears to have been written; "Time Honored Tradition" is obviously patterned after traditional barroom sing-alongs like "Roll Out the Barrel." Though not as detailed as the Streets' Original Pirate Material, Employment is as ostentatiously British as Blur's Parklife or Pulp's Different Class; these Leeds gents love their homeland so much that during sex, singer Ricky Wilson swears, "I lay back and think of England." They've certainly worn out the grooves on their old Jam albums, though even Paul Weller probably never wrote anything quite as catchy as the superb "I Predict a Riot." "Everyday I Love You Less and Less," "Modern Way," "Oh My God," and "Na Na Na Na Naa" yes, they wrote a song called "Na Na Na Na Naa" aren't far behind, all swaying choruses, deadly hooks, and teasing melodies. Plus, "Saturday Night" contains one of the best lines ever: "We're going to hell anyway, let's travel first class." Just some lads having a spot o' fun, and like they say back in Blighty, it's brilliant. (Sunday, 3:30pm, Heineken stage)
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