Album Review

Colour Of The Trap

Colour Of The Trap

by Miles Kane


Sony Music
7.5 / 10
1 June, 2011

Reviewed by Courtney Sanders


There’s an elephant in the corner of this debut from Miles Kane: the fact that he looks and sounds exactly the same as Last Shadow Puppet partner-in-crime Alex Turner. So the story goes that their partnership was borne from a mutual love of sixties swoon while Kane’s band The Rascals was touring in support of the Arctic Monkeys. They then joined forces on album The Age of the Understatement as The Last Shadow Puppets. The challenge for Kane now is to shed the uncanny similarities that served the pair so well as Puppets, and prove - with Colour of the Trap  - that as a solo artist he's not monkeying around.

Which is a bit of a shame really, because on Colour of the Trap Miles Kane has undoubtedly cemented the niche he began to carve as a Puppet. Nostalgic to a fault, this album – and if the music wasn’t obvious enough, Kane has gone on-the-nose for you with the album art – conjures the atmosphere of the sixties while still managing to sound fresh. ‘Quicksand’ is an upbeat ode to bikini-clad back up singers and is about either girls and/or the beach (two birds, one stone), while ‘Take the Night From Me’ slows the same lyrical and sonic sentiment down to bring up the balladic end. Opener ‘Come Closer’ re-appropriates The Last Shadow Puppets score-like intensity for a new, less serious endeavour, as does third track ‘My Fantasy’ through which some of Kane’s most heartfelt subject matter (again, about as sixties as it comes - “oh darling, hold me like before”) soars around symbiotic guitars and percussion. ‘Happenstance’ is arguably one of the strongest tracks on the record that reduces every trick in Scott Walker’s book into a searing, sultry, take no prisoners stomp. Miles Kane, by wholeheartedly embracing the sixties, refracts it for a contemporary audience in way that seems honest and exciting rather than trite.

However, ‘Rearrange’, ‘Happenstance’, ‘Telepathy’, ‘Better Left Invisible’ and ‘Colour of the Trap’ are all co-written by Turner; that elephant just won’t quit. They nestle between Kane’s solo tracks amicably, imbibing it with an intensity Turner probably picked up from Humbug-era outings with Josh Homme that certainly compliments rather than detracts from the rest of the tracks. But this seamless integration begs the question as to whether Kane is going it alone in name only. Is Colour of the Trap simply The Last Shadow Puppets disguised?

Naming rights aside, Colour of the Trap is a wholly atmospheric window into an era that is rarely replicated interestingly. Miles Kane should perhaps tell Turner to return to his rather successful day job so he can lay claim to this sound.




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