Eugene McGuinness - Chroma
Once the hired gun for Miles Kane, the ever suave Eugene McGuinness has carved out a pretty successful solo career for himself, mostly by taking a leaf out of pal Miles' little black book: keep it retro, keep it 60s and keep your hair slicked back - the chicks dig it. Which brings us Chroma, McGuinness' self-confessed "most personal" work to date. Blood On The Tracks it ain't, but for a fun soundtrack to your back yard BBQs, you could do worse.
'Godiva' starts things off, its overt Merseybeat vibe a bit more Gerry and the Pacemakers than The Fab Four (the opening chords are a blatant rip off of 'Ticket To Ride'). 'Amazing Grace' isn't bad at all, although McGuinness' weak vocals sometimes striving to make themselves heard over the shimmying beat. The album then strives on with varying degrees of success. 'I Drink Your Milkshake' is best just skipped over, trust me, and 'She Paints Houses' is just plain annoying. A few Miles Kane-y sounding tunes ('Immortals' and the rather nifty darkness of 'Crueler Kind') brighten the mood. A truly awful ballad 'All In All' may give you nightmares, so the upbeat hedonism of the last three tracks, with 'Black Stang' the winner by a nose, makes everything all better again.
Though Eugene McGuinness may be pushing for more varied musical ground, he continues to fall back on his Miles Kane connection as a crutch, stymied as to how to go about charting his own career path. There are real winners on Chroma as well as too many clunkers. Let's hope he gets the formula right next time around.