Album: Spotlight Kid, Disaster Tourist (Tri-Tone/PIAS)


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The Independent Culture

If you're going to name your band after a Captain Beefheart album, you'd better make sure you're pretty damn good - or pretty damn weird, at least.

Sadly, Spotlight Kid don't seem to be either: Disaster Tourist is just retro-shoegazer fare of the kind that kept Lush, Slowdive et al briefly occupied in the early '90s, with softly indistinct female vocals buried amidst a welter of guitar distortion and flange effects, so just the occasional phrase - "It's always the same thing", "All is real", and my favourite, "How I hate this weather" - pokes through. The fascination with sonic texture over tune tends to make everything sound like everything else, as if the tracks were all leaking into one another. The most startling bit is the passage in "April" when the guitars drop out to leave just bass and drums thudding along: a sort of anti-solo that allows one to relish the space.

Download this: Cold Steel Rain; April