Stanley Brinks And The Wave Pictures

Stanley Brinks teamed up with The Wave Pictures to record this collection of ten songs about love, loss and martians. The choice of The Wave Pictures is an interesting one. Occasionally inspired - check out 2008's Instant Coffee Baby - but occasionally producing the sort of sound that wouldn’t be out of place in a pub by a canal on a Sunday afternoon; the sort of tired, lite-jazz-wank that convinces middle managers they are having a bohemian experience.

On this recording they are unfortunately on the wrong side of the river. They play as a charmless and repetitive backing act and the exuberance of their stronger material is totally absent, providing a bland and insomnia-curing backdrop for Stanley to ramble over.

And ramble he does. It’s a pretty humorless and dull recital that at times attempts to sound like Belle & Sebastian, albeit minus the wit or intelligence. Even the song about Martians (‘Why The Martians Are Gone’) fails to raise a smile or any interest. With clumsy lyrics and some embarrassing pre-school rhyming, it becomes apparent that the Martians have vanished simply to escape the tedium herein.

Both these acts are capable of more than what’s on offer here. It’s clear that neither is playing to their strengths, instead simply choosing to avoid risks. By remaining in the middle of the road and not marking their territory with their own signature sounds, they produce a bland and nondescript grey effluent of noise - a by-product of too large a comfort zone. As the album plays through the mind drifts off to thoughts of what’s for tea or where you've left the cat. By the closing bars of final track ‘All The Love That Was Left’, you’ll either be asleep or just glad it’s finally all over.



out of 10

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