Photographer: Ray Burmiston.
Since teen pop band Busted broke up in 2005, their friends and former tour buddies McFly have continued to release music, and it was during their tenth anniversary tour that the seed for the formation of McBusted -- and ultimately the creation of their first album together -- was planted. Boasting six members -- only former Busted member Charlie Simpson is missing from the supergroup -- the record is consistent despite the collaboration: songwriting and vocal duties are shared among the bandmembers, resulting in a cohesive, if a little predictable, listen. The only track that loses its focus is lead single "Air Guitar," which takes a distinctly Busted-esque verse and pairs it with a McFly-inspired pre-chorus, before the super cheesy chorus -- including the line "Jimmy Page and Brian May won't believe the way I play my Air Guitar" -- merges them together again. There is help from a few unexpected guests, with blink-182's Mark Hoppus providing vocals on the punk-splattering of "Hate Your Guts" that channels blink-182 circa 1999 in a more child-friendly way, while Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo helped write the polished indie rock-inspired "Getting It Out." All Time Low's Alex Gaskarth left the mark of his band's American flavored pop-punk on "Get Over It" with a fist-pumping, singalong chorus that wouldn't sound out of place on a New Found Glory record. There is a lot that needs to be taken tongue in cheek on this record, however, where references to Miley Cyrus and a song titled "How's My Hair" make up the lyrical content, but they make for good pop songs and the combined experience and talent of McBusted have produced catchy hooks, earworm melodies, and memorable choruses by the bucket load here. They are capable of writing slightly serious and personal songs, too, with the rock ballad "Gone," as well as album highlight "What Happened to Your Band?" The latter track provides James Bourne and Matt Willis a platform to articulate their frustrations following the demise and subsequent fallout of Busted, revealing insight into the aggression that is rarely shown by either band; it even includes the odd curse. There have been expectations of McBusted since their formation, and while not groundbreaking, the six-piece have re-energized their sound, and subsequently their pop careers. ~ Scott Kerr