Album: Captain Wilberforce, Ghost Written Confessions (Blue Tuxedo)

There's a heavy Elvis Costello influence behind the songs of Simon Bristoll, singer/songwriter with Leeds combo Captain Wilberforce.

The acidic tone of his critiques sit well within the decep-tively cheery pop arrangements, and the focus on fractured relationships mines a productive vein of emotional turmoil. In "Me and Your Mother (Before You Were Born)", a parent patronises their child's "unimpressed expression and your 'whatever' smile" with mocking relish, while elsewhere someone's reliance on "Your Imaginary Friends" receives similarly short shrift. Opener "A Beautiful Waste of Time" best employs the band's unusual resources, the acoustic guitar and layered vocals tinted with cello and brass. And the oblique arpeggios and keening vocal of "...In Hell" so accurately ape Radiohead that I imagine it must be a satire.

DOWNLOAD THIS: A Beautiful Waste of Time; Baby Girl