Thursday, May 12, 2011

Miles Kane - Colour of the Trap (Columbia)

Regular readers will be familiar with our general opinion of the Arctic Monkeys. But for the benefit of anyone who's surfed in randomly and is not aware of our feelings towards the Overrated Apes, their insipid, arrogant, cod-working-class claptrap makes us go all hulky smash-smash.

So when frontman Alex Turner ventured away from the band for intriguing side project The Last Shadow Puppets, we were surprised - nay, alarmed - to find it actually rather easy to stomach. And now, as his Last Shadow Puppets co-pilot Miles Kane releases his debut solo album, it's abundantly clear Kane's contribution is what made Turner so uncharacteristically bearable.

But on the strengths of Colour of the Trap, it's a talent that reaches way beyond merely nullifying the weakness of his sometime bandmate, and towers above the output of previous band The Rascals. It's something to get very excited about.

With current single Rearrange already a strong contender for 2011's best song, you don't have to listen too hard to realise Kane means business. The ample talent is housed in a defined musical identity, somewhere close to a wet-behind-the-ears Rolling Stones, and yet very much on its own level.

Whether it's the dynamic, sugar-flecked bounce of Quicksand, or the brooding, atmospheric title track, the album is swathed in authentic Sixties sensibilities. Where perhaps VV Brown or Beady Eye produced work inflected with a Sixties influence, Colour of the Trap is a full-blown voyage 45 years back, entirely undiluted and incredibly effective for it.

And most admirably, it doesn't feel gimmicky in the least - Kane boasts an aptitude far beyond his years, and any ventures within a more current genre would almost feel beneath him. Colour of the Trap combines a stark simplicity with a brave venture, all executed with serious finesse. Another record of this calibre, and Alex sodding Turner will be a mere footnote in the gold-leafed chronicles of Miles Kane.

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