The Experimental Pop Band :
The Experimental Pop Band have been around an awful long time, and it shows. The main emotion projected here isn't anger, grief, love or longing; it's a kind of tired boredom, as though prime mover Davey Woodhead and his cohorts were just plain sick of cobbling tunes together and getting nowhere.
Long-suffering stoicism is all over these songs. They strive to present a gritty, hard-hitting portrait of the band's native Bristol, but somehow fail to make you feel the human cost hidden in among the shoddy tower blocks, the shoplifting single mothers and the filthy river. As urban dystopia, it's utterly uninvolving. There's none of the blue-collar glamour of Springsteen's New Jersey, none of the fiery fury of The Clash's London Calling, no hint of the heartbreak locked into Suede's trashy tragedies. There's only a grinding disgust with almost everything - joyless sex, faithless lovers, hopeless dead-end jobs and pointless violence. Even the cover art edges towards misogyny.
Only once does the mixture seem to gel and coalesce into something more than the sum of its parts. Suddenly, with the album's official closer Accident, all the lights come on. Nausea is replaced by need, despair by hope as a chiming chronicle of a car crash opens out into something gently transcendent. "Then I kissed her mouth, blew into her lungs, she opened her eyes . . . those great big blue eyes." It seems there is a reason to live after all - but after 13 tracks of dreary dross, it's too little, too late.