Two ex-Spiritualized members currently have new records to promote: former guitarist Jason Hart with The Orange Lights, and former bassist Sean Cook with The Flies. Stepping out of the shadows to become a band's focus or carve a solo career is always going to be a gamble, taking guts, or perhaps a misguided ego. In both the above cases, even before you get to the music, the signs are bad. Hart's band includes Paul Tucker (ex-Lighthouse Family) and Cook's band, well, the name is like a piece of rope strung low across the door.
The Flies are Cook backed by Bristol production duo The Insects (do you see what they did with that title?), and the six songs on this mini-album at least vary in style. The Lord Of Flies resurrects trip-hop (perhaps to be expected since members have previously worked with Massive Attack and Portishead), while Harmonica is a nine minute dubscape reminiscent of Primal Scream. Otherwise a mellow acoustic vibe prevails through tracks such as Ruby Tuesday, a cover of The Rolling Stones song (although it’s hard to imagine fans of the original being particularly impressed), and In This World, an air of gloomy folkiness perhaps elevating it to best of the bunch.
While the record occasionally shows promise, it struggles under the weight of its influences and a drugginess (here, more lethargic than blissful) too close to Spiritualized to be ignored. If it's not as stinky as the stuff flies circle, it's not a great argument for bass players becoming front men either.
View Ruby Tuesday video here.
Download I Have No Shame (not on album) here.