Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Admiral Black - Phantasmagoric
This article also appears on www.soundsxp.com
Humanzi frontman Shaun Mulrooney's debut as Admiral Black was conceived in a Berlin bar after a chance meeting with producer/drummer Earl Harvin, and between the two of them (plus the odd guest appearance) 'Phantasmagoric' was born. The bulk of the album could have been recorded at any point during the past twenty years, taking elements of psychedelia, garage, glam and britpop. Because of this it feels slightly out of step with any current musical trends, and this bandwagon-avoiding approach is surely one to be applauded.
It's something of a shame then, that Admiral Black seem to be missing any distinctive features, anything to make them stand out from the crowd, and being devoid of any distinguishing marks has the knock-on effect of devaluing what are, on the whole, a pretty decent batch of tunes. 'The Worm Of The Third Sting', 'Shock Corridors' and 'Crystallised' are rollicking mid-90s indie-rock hits and the Supergrassy 'Madmans's Blues' (sic) is a nice way to wrap things up, but the glam stomp of 'Got Love If You Want It' and the treated vocal of 'Such As Nice Man' both give the impression of being Kasabian off-cuts.
There's nothing particularly wrong with 'Phantasmagoric', it's reasonably well written and produced, it's just that it lacks a certain spark, a certain je ne sais quoi. Without that sprinkling of gold-dust this stays as simply a decent enough record without being especially memorable. On the whole it feels a little bit like Admiral Black have unwittingly sold themselves short.
SHOCK CORRIDORS - ADMIRAL BLACK by Admiral Black
GOT LOVE IF YOU WANT IT by Admiral Black
Such A Nice Man by Admiral Black
Closure by Admiral Black
Admiral Black on Facebook
Buy the album.
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