Lyrical quirkiness and standard love songs are set down here beside easyside and alt rock compositions to create a 16-song menu first coming from what one might expect on the radio, then over to hip cafe fare (as in songs like Girls!), and later to a tavern roister. The writing credits are so diverse that one hesitates to name anyone as more influential than the others, but Gavin Buxton is the nominal front man, wielding a tasty lead guitar but singing in a brittle-ish voice lacking range while a trifle nasal. This has the unfortunate effect of flattening the cuts out more than should be the case. Throughout the CD, you'll encounter rock, reggae, ska, alt, and wackiness but the bandwidth tends to a certain sameness via the vocals.
The compositions sometimes become as infectious as their labelmates Corsica (reviewed here)—the two groups share Keith Dion—as with In Control, but the overall palette is much more varied than Corsica's. Echoes of the Korgis, Sigmund Snopek, Gruppo Sportivo, Alan Hull, and others of the outré side of "radio" rock slip in and out of the Ponsonbys, spicing them with a slim tradition all too infrequently observed in music. In sum, the disc is worthwhile and of a rare turn of mind, which alone should make it attractive, but, as inferred, the lads should think about importing a new singer. As tight as tracks like Kissy Kissy are, they shouldn't be even slightly hamstrung in any least degree.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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