WALK THE MOON, Koko – Evening Standard, 26 Feb 2016

Taking to the stage at a sold-out Koko, Walk the Moon recalled a gig there several years earlier, as unknowns at an NME club night. Then, remembered singer Nicholas Petricca, the crowd just wanted them to shut up so they could dance. Depressing but apparently inspirational — his Ohio quartet’s song Shut Up and Dance has been a massive worldwide hit, taking up residence in the UK top 10 for three months last year.

Their second album, from which the single comes, has made comparatively little impact, but if they’re going to be one hit wonders, they’re going down swinging. Here every other song was similarly ablaze with tunefulness, notably Work This Body, a thundering novelty that was perkier than a box of puppies.

Boundlessly optimistic, even their song Down in the Dumps was about refusing to be unhappy. With their personality haircuts and fondness for facepaint, the band can all get jobs as charity muggers when their music days are done.

They wore their influences proudly, whether it was the indie dance beats of The Killers on Jenny or the weightier funk rock of Red Hot Chili Peppers on Lisa Baby. Shut Up and Dance’s shouty fun was not a million miles from One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful. True originality was in short supply (of course they chose David Bowie’s Let’s Dance as their cover) but there was energy and an infectious optimism in abundance.