Album: Pop Levi

The Return to Form Black Magick Party, COUNTER
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The Independent Culture

Former Ladytron and Super Numeri member Pop Levi looks like a cross between Brian Jones and Neil Hannon, the lucky fellow, but sounds more like a cross between Mika and Led Zeppelin, which is not quite as fortuitous as you might imagine. Levi undoubtedly has a talent for mimicry - essaying wah-wah guitar licks in the manner of Frank Zappa on "Blue Honey", doing shrill impressions of Marc Bolan on "Skip Ghetto", and building a cheesy organ groove in the style of the Sir Douglas Quintet on "Dollar Bill Rock" - which is perhaps why he bangs on so much about "channelling" in the press release, as if there were some deeper connection going on here than mere influence. But the combination of shrill vocals with drab blues and folk-rock stylings is irritating at best, and ultimately enervating: these are genres whose essential touchstone is authenticity, and there's something bogus about Levi's use of them here that sabotages their effect. The results leave him sounding like just another chancer aiming for adulation, but lacking the ideas andthe individuality to achieve it on his own.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Dollar Bill Rock', 'Skip Ghetto'