Album: Chris T-T

The 253, Snowstorm
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Chris T-T is a classic UK indie type with a murky past on the lo-fi fringes, including membership of a Chemikal Underground band, support slots for Turin Brakes and Elbow, and such an obsessive interest in rock that he's acquired a degree in pop music (whatever that entails). The 253 is his third album in as many years, a series of dispatches from the drop-out barricades. Anti-materialist rants such as "Ownership" and "The Shape We're in" rub shoulders with guilty glances at his own indolence ("Sellotape (Dawson's Creek)"), roadkill revenge fantasies ("Hedgehog Song") and one whimsical reflection on religion and media in which Tony Robinson and the Time Team unearth the Holy Grail in the West Country ("Build a Bridge, Burn a Bridge"). The tone is unfailingly polite, albeit mildly scathing about society's appetite for alcohol and US food, while his idealisation of rural life in "The English Earth" charmingly revives the naive bucolicism of the Incredible String Band. T-T's enthusiastic, often ramshackle music sometimes errs on the side of the rudimentary, but his songs are littered with pungent phrases and tart observations: "I am silenced by contentment and supermarkets"; "He's a rising star shining in your life now/ He eclipses your past"; "If you love your stuff more than your soul/ Get rid of your mechanical attitude"; and, my own favourite, "Wrap me up in Sellotape/ Bind my body to my mistakes". And though at times he seems irredeemably wet, at least his satirical swipe at booze culture, "Drink Beer", is sharp and dry.