Last night, I put on Tango In The Attic’s first record, Bank Place Locomotive Society. It is still a warm, wonderful album, with hints of Paul Simon’s Graceland and Vampire Weekend, topped off with a Scottish accent. Now that’s not what people generally call World Music, but it is still an accomplished debut album.
And it makes it all the more frustrating, because I sat down to give this, their sophomore album another listen this morning to write the review. Now, second albums are notoriously difficult things. But it can be deeply frustrating when a band seems to be on the move to try and develop their sound, and you feel that their second album catches the transition in a way that’s not what you hope for.
In small chunks there are some good tracks here, particularly the recent free download ‘Mona Lisa Overdrive.’ But as an overall album, it feels like it is both searching for an identity, and producing something that is falling between two stools. Put bluntly, it can’t seem to work out if it wants to be Vampire Weekend or Arctic Monkeys, and ends up producing something that is a mixture between the two. And that’s like the aural equivalent of chocolate and salmon mousse. and a messy chocolate and salmon mousse at that.