Music Reviews

Cinerama Torino

(Scopitones Records) Buy it from Insound Rating - 5/10

I often start my reviews with an interesting fact about the band in question. Ok, maybe interesting was generous, but it's usually relevant. Why do I do this you may ask? Well sometimes it's down to laziness and indicates that I can't be bothered thinking of anything better to write. Occasionally however I open with a fact because I have nothing nice to say about the release in question and need to flesh the review out a bit. Sadly this is one of those occasions. Well, here's the fact...

Cinerama is the brainchild of ex-Wedding Present main-man David Gedge, and Torino marks their third album in the last four years. If you consider the fact that this is Gedge's 8th album in a 17 year songwriting career, it would be fair to assume that he is currently writing more songs than ever, would it not? Sadly, whereas bands like Guided By Voices (who formed in the same year as The Wedding Present - 1985) and the Flaming Lips (who go back even longer) have remained both prolific AND relevant, this album suggests that Gedge has not. And Gedge has the advantage of an entirely new set of musicians to bounce ideas off - something that the other two bands, despite various lineup changes, have not.

Funnily enough Torino reminds me in part of an English Guided By Voices. It consists of songs that would just love to be categorised as "classic indie-pop" but only one of them truly warrants the tag (Quick, Before It Melts) and even that outstays its welcome at over five minutes. On the whole this set sounds dated (see the plodding MOR Tie Me Up for evidence of this), and seriously lacks the edge that producer Steve Albini normally helps bands discover. In conclusion, this is a disappointing and occasionally dreary take on indie-pop. Unless you're a die-hard David Gedge fan I'd give it a wide berth.