Unlikely survivors from the mid-00s glut of British guitar bands, Mystery Jets have never really deviated from the template they established with their 2006 debut, Making Dens: it’s essentially melodic indie that’s unlikely to scare even the most cowardly of horses – think the Kooks without the edge. Their seventh album was originally scheduled for a September 2019 release, but was delayed because of the ill-health of frontman Blaine Harrison. It’s now belatedly seeing the light of day, but there’s precious little to distinguish it from its six predecessors, save some slightly more politically woke lyrics.
Opener Screwdriver addresses the resurgence of the far right in Britain; Wrong Side of the Tracks pays tribute to Greta Thunberg. History Has Its Eyes on You, meanwhile, was inspired by the women’s marches for gender equality, but is so insipid musically that it has to be chalked up as a point for the patriarchy. Rather more engaging are the martial rhythm of Petty Drone and the urgency of the title track’s punchy chorus. But they are exceptions, and taken as a whole, A Billion Heartbeats offers depressingly little that’s new, surprising or even interesting.