Since influential Manchester trio Doves split in two a couple of years ago, the music produced by the band’s two factions has been notable by its difference.
Singer Jimi Goodwin’s debut solo album, last year’s Odludek, was a mixed bag of rip-roaring Pogues-like stompers and blues, with a bit of the Clash thrown in for good measure.
Brothers Jez and Andy Williams, meanwhile, made their live debut as Black Rivers in Manchester last July, and despite declaring in interview that they “wouldn’t want to think we sound too much like Doves” have produced a debut which sits far more comfortably alongside their previous band’s work than almost anything on Odludek.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing; Doves albums The Last Broadcast and Some Cities were amongst the finest of their era and Diamond Days and The Forest’s psychedelic dance rock would sit comfortably on either. Elsewhere they rock out convincingly on Age of Innocence while Voyager 1 is another highlight.
It’s a pleasant record and an easy listen for indie fans of a certain vintage but the overall feeling is of a band treading water a little and failing to break any new ground. Could do better.
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By Andrew Greenhalgh