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Kevin Kane Audioscribbler review (I'm back!)

Ello everyone..

Sorry it's been a while; a quick uninteresting recap for you: I was home for just over three weeks during the lambing season working 7am-5pm every day which meant obviously that writing took a wee bit of a back seat. I returned to uni last Sunday faced with assignments galore so that explains the lack of a podcast last week..it'll be all stations go again this week though I hope although I may be changing it from its Wednesday evening publishing slot. Keep your eyes peeled. However, back I am and writing once again, Audioscribbler included my review of Kevin Kane's current album which I'll put below this drivel and PlayPauseStop should be appearing on Manchester's independent music store shelves again this week. Oh and I'm seeing Future Of The Left tonight which will then morph itself onto paper in the form of a review for God Is In The TV..good to be back!



Kevin Kane: How To Build A Lighthouse

Release Date:
Label: High Voltage

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Simon Jay Catling

Kevin Kane, ex-singer of The Grapes Of Wraith, returns with a third album that couldn’t slide on a dressing gown and pair of slippers more nonchalantly if it tried. A curiously chosen cover version of Pink Floyd’s See Emily Play aside, How To Build A Lighthouse is a set of songs that do little to dissuade the notion that there is a dearth of talent in the singer songwriter genre at the moment.

If one was too root around for a name to hoist Kevin Kane up against these days (as seems the wont with most of us music writer types to do these days), one probably needs look no further than the harmless American college rock of a few years ago; Semisonic, The Posies et al. Kane possesses a voice that’s as competent as it is radio-friendly and dull; indeed upon searching through the English lexicon in order to pluck up suitable vocabulary to describe this album we need delve no deeper than non-descriptive, emotionless adjectives like ‘fine’, ‘alright’, ‘ok’. This will be, to all and intents and purposes, a lazy review; but then this is a lazy album. Opening track Last To Know sets the tone with a typical (for the genre) upbeat chord driven opening with listless vague lyrics about women, relationships and love. When slowing things down and supposedly opening up to us, the singer still fails to grab onto our ears and pin them down.

For Closer, read a typical breaking up song; file Late Night under unrequited love ballad. It takes until the admittedly passable rendition of the early Floyd hit to give this album a much needed set of jack leads, as burbling feedback and noise build up to turn See Emily Play into a simple yet effective American alt. rock stomp of a song that continues to build right up until its finish. This is the catalyst for a rather pleasing pick up in quality as Kane finally let’s go of his desire to drag out three minute pop songs with needless, over produced and stilted instrumentals (see No Postcards). No Black Dots hits with a sharpness and aggression that leaves you wondering if this is still the work of the same seemingly impassive and lacklustre artist. Sadly we’re not out the woods yet, final track Sputnik is as forgettable as it is long and bringing the album to an underwhelming conclusion.

This is an album that changes from being merely bland to actually quite annoying, armed by the end with knowledge, as we are that Kane can, if pushed, create moments that possess emotion and depth. Sadly these are too few and far between and the only thing this album really does is continue to over saturate a market that’s begging out for a new troubadour to drag it out of the gutter- and they do exist: the likes of Jacob Golden and David Ford will reward your listening habits far more richly than the likes of Kevin Kane ever will, and it’s rays of light like this that allow us to shrug our shoulders and turn the other cheek to uninspired releases such as this.

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