Part of a strains of bands making intelligent, eclectic, BBC 6 Music-friendly indie pop – see also Wild Beasts, Alt-J and Django Django – Northumberland/Manchester/Leeds four-piece Everything Everything throw a little too much into the mix in their third album, Get To Heaven.
Post-punk guitars wrestle with falsetto vocals, contemporary R&B, electronica, disco-funk, krautrock and even prog in songs such as To The Blade, The Wheel (Is Turning Now) and Blast Doors. But often the results are so restless and itchy it’s hard to get a handle on them.
When they throw in twiddly guitar solos in Regret and Spring/Summer/Winter/Dread it’s over-facing.
Everything Everything are a band who have plenty of good ideas – and they certainly know how to write a catchy chorus – but sometimes they could do with a more judicious editor.
Hot Chip could be seen as the godfathers of the quirk-pop scene that begot Everything Everything.
Their sixth album in a 15-year career finds Joe Goddard, Alexis Taylor, Felix Martin, Al Doyle and Owen Clarke mining dance grooves and indietronica with a likeable but not earth-shattering end product.
Where early numbers such as Over and Over and Ready For The Floor captured the zeitgeist there’s nothing in Why Make Sense? that is as a thrillingly of the moment.
Love Is The Future, though, is undeniably catchy and features a deft rap from Posdnous of De La Soul as well as a sweet string break. The funky clavinet and insistent chorus of Started Right is another highlight.
The cloying White Wine and Fried Chicken, however, proves they are best steering clear of ballads.
Colin Vearncombe, creator of Wonderful Life, one of the most memorable tunes in 80s pop, has been quiet of late. But Blind Faith, his first album in six years in his guise as Black, shows exactly what we’ve been missing.
Classic songwriting in a wistfully romantic vein has been the Liverpudlian’s stock in trade for 30 years and the 13 tracks assembled here with the help of Calum MacColl, son of Peggy Seeger and brother of the late Kirsty, are as enjoyable as pretty much any in his catalogue.
Fans of The Divine Comedy, 60s Scott Walker and the mellow tones of Rumer in particular will find a lot to savour in the likes of The Love Show and Good Liar.
John Wardle has been making records as Jah Wobble for nigh on four decades, first as bass player in the ground-breaking post-punk group Public Image Ltd then as leader of his own band, Invaders of the Heart, founder of his own label, 30 Hertz Records, and as a serial collaborator.
Redux gathers 92 tracks from his extensive canon, over six discs. Casual listeners would be best heading for the first, Greatest Hits, which includes his best known numbers like Visions of You, Public Image, Poptones and Becoming More Like God.
It’s packed with excellent illustrations of his influential and highly distinctive dub-heavy style of bass playing.
Additional discs reveal more of Wobble’s interests in dance grooves, world music, jazz, ambient and even spoken word (he published his first volume of poetry in 2013). The final CD is a salute to some of the 56-year-old Londoner’s favourite soundtracks including Midnight Cowboy, Get Carter and The Persuaders.
All in all it’s a vivid testimony to one of the most diverse and adventurous careers in modern British rock and pop.