Ultimate Painting - Green Lanes

by Steve Reynolds Rating:5 Release Date:2015-08-07

Jack Cooper and James Hoare are back in business and, following on from last year’s excellent debut, they return with Green Lanes.

Sticking with the template which made their first album so quirky and listenable, this time the duo seems to have spent more time splashing around in the warmth of The Byrds, Big Star, and the infectious pop sensibility of Teenage Fanclub.

Ebullient confidence is right there from the opening bars of ‘Kodiak’, the kooky warmth that the boys deliver brings an instant smile. When they double up on the harmonies, it’s a straight race of fun right to the finish line. ‘Sweet Chris’ is ridiculously regressive but before you can lambast the band for this it welcomes you in and could have easily been plucked from TFC’s ‘Songs From Northern Britain’ album.

The album’s cover even has an air of lo fi about it.  A small room equipped with a guitar, drums, amps, reel to reel tapes and keyboards. Maybe a tad twee for someone but for the bedroom bound indie kid it could be the key to opening a few more ears.

Cooper and Hoare are very deadpan in their delivery; they remain free from emotion and appear cold and heartless on ‘The Ocean’ and the sleepy ‘Two From The Vault’.  The album does suffer some mediocrity in the middle of the album with the rather limp ‘Break The Chain’ and ‘I was lost’. But it’s when they step up and injects some pace into their songs such as ‘Woken By Noises’ that they revive your interest.

I was really looking forward to ‘Green Lanes’ as their debut was such a confidence and interesting listen.  Maybe I was expecting too much of the same again as I’ve found this one all a bit hand wringing and insular, the songs are there but the music left me feeling underwhelmed.  I just hope they find their musical mojo for their third album.

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