CD: Ocean Colour Scene, On the Leyline

(Moseley Shoals)

Shooting carp in a barrel, taking candy from a tot, scoffing at Ocean Colour Scene - a band so 1996 they have tree rings in their middles endorsed by Chris Evans, Noel Gallagher and Guy Ritchie - is a simple sport, so let's be kind: boys who have plugged away like seasoned electricians since baggy swung its flares must have merits. On the Leyline, their eighth album (although you'd think it was a reissue from the Britpoppy cover) is not devoid of them: the opener, I Told You So, is a startlingly sweet Beatles pastiche, although the other stand-out tracks repeat this trick - another leisurely harmony here, another Lennonish lilt there - like a lacklustre end-of-pier magician. The rest is workmanlike Weller: brisk and brawny, but with too many gaudy guitars and a vocal on top that could strip paint just by taking the lid off the bucket.


Jude Rogers

The GuardianTramp

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