Thursday, 6 May 2010

2004 Busted: Thunderbirds Are Go!/3AM

Swansong single from Busted and a double A side to boot - 'Thunderbirds Are Go!' was written for the soundtrack of that year's big film adaptation of the iconic sixties TV show. Yet despite the limitations imposed by the franchise, Busted turn in a song that's a helluva lot more lively and entertaining than the film turned out to be. True, by virtue of the subject matter and context, the audience for this will always be limited and fleeting (lyrics like "There's something major going down on Tracy island" will always demand explanation for the uninitiated), but the raised fist "You know the lid's about to blow, when the thunderbirds are go" chorus is universal powerpop at its best.

Not shackled by soundtrack constrictions, '3AM' is free to be its own song, and for Busted that means back to business as usual and obsessing over a girl who doesn't want to know ("I'm calling you at 3 AM and I'm, I'm standing here right outside your door. And I don't think that my heart can take much more"). Only this time the angst is less hormonal teen and more the grizzled growl from a goateed throat, which is my way of saying that '3AM's AOR chug sounds too close to Nickleback and their ilk for anyone's comfort. A nifty string arrangement and tongue in cheek "And now you're driving in your car, but you won't get far 'cause your car is shit" lightens the load to stop the transformation completing in full, but on this evidence I'd say Busted wisely called time at the right time; there are no end of bands whose catalogue's would have improved immeasurably had they taken the same tack.

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