On Cedars, Jason Pegg and band take another trip behind the twitching curtains of Clearlake, the imaginary town they invented on their 2000 debut Lido.
On the evidence of songs like The Mind Is Evil, Clearlake is a dark, Blue-Velvet kind of town, inspiring Pegg to ponder the death of innocence, love-turned-to-sadism and the horror of the human condition. To contrast this lyrical bleakness, the band have attempted to spruce up the old place a bit by recruiting various string sounds and ex-Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde as producer.
Sadly, Raymonde seems to have put woolly hats over the microphones, which threatens to smother Pegg's Damon Albarn/Ray Davies vaudeville pop sensibility. Still, the spiky new-wave melodies of Can't Feel a Thing and Come Into the Darkness bludgeon their way through, and rip-roaring single Almost the Same would be blasting out of radios and cars worldwide given any sort of budget.