BNQT: Volume 1 review – melodic rock supergroup provide a real feast

(Bella Union)

Like every successful collaboration, BNQT’s Volume 1 – a title that echoes supergroup forebears the Traveling Wilburys – is much more than the sum of its parts.

BNQT (we’re supposed to say “Banquet”) is the result of what happened when Eric Pulido of Midlake brought together Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses, Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Fran Healy of Travis and Jason Lytle of Grandaddy.

Backed by Pulido’s Midlake bandmates, egos are set aside for the greater good. All provide great tunes – they write and sing two each – and they entertain rather than indulge in introspection.

The prevailing style is melodic 70s soft rock, with 10cc, the Electric Light Orchestra and Crosby, Stills & Nash among the reference points.

High points include Lytle’s impossibly lovely Failing at Feeling, which conjures John Lennon’s #9 Dream; Restart, whose glam-rock crunch is reached via Tame Impala’s Elephant; the arch stylings of Kapranos on Hey Banana; and Real Love, a gorgeous cascade of harmonies and trumpets.


Jon Dennis

The GuardianTramp

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