Trans - Trans EP
The varied career of Bernard Butler (Suede, McAlmont & Butler, re-uniting with Suede's Brett Anderson for The Tears) suggests a man unwilling to rest on his laurels. Trans, with The Yummy Fur's Jackie McKeown, is another left turn for the man who has concentrated on production duties in recent years, but the relaxed, almost surf-rock vibe may provoke shrugs from those looking for a return to his halcyon, guitar-wrangling duties.
The instantly forgettable ‘Thinking About A Friend’ disappoints from the off. ‘Tangerine’ with its refrains of “I used to write you songs” fares better, its country-tinged guitar solos cut through but still lack much oomph. Butler's playing sounds lazy and bored and with ‘The Prince’ dragging on for over seven minutes, the equally lengthy ‘Lights’ tests the patience. There are moments when it feels as if Butler is beginning to challenge himself again, albeit briefly, but overall this is a damp squib from a guitarist better known for fireworks.