01. Two Shocks 02. Don't Take Me To Space (Man) 03. Red Rag 04. Worry About It Later 05. Crush On You 06. Eternal Return 07. Do You Feel The Same? 08. Ancient Mysteries 09. Oh! Forever 10. Hey Hey 11. Why Tell the Truth (When It's Easier To Lie) 12. Leaving England
Indie rock supergroup Brakes serve up their first long-player together after, pooling the talents of musicians who've done the rounds in British Sea Power, Electric Soft Parade, Restlesslist, The Pipettes and Tenderfoot. Like so many of these supergroup-type projects there are times at which you suspect the constituent members aren't necessarily taking the enterprise entirely seriously: on the rollicking 'Don't Take Me To Space (Man)' lyrics such as "I don't care that this world's Masonic/I got a true love keeping me on it" are despatched with frivolous abandon, and the Pixies-esque 'Crush On You' has to count as one of the weirder list songs of all time, with vocalist Eamon Hamilton declaring "Oh I've got a crush on you" having just reeled off "Fritz Lang, laser eyes, freedom fries" and "Joan Of Arc, redwood bark, Cutty Sark" as chuckle-inducing targets of his affection. As the album continues the silliness persists, and you start to wonder if Brakes are attempting to emulate the surreal free-associatiative poetry of Stephen Malkmus. Whatever they're up to, it's probably not quite as clever as they'd like to think, although the music itself tends to rectify any ambivalence you might feel towards the words on offer. 'Oh! Forever' is a real triumph of '90s pop revisionism, cross-pollinating JAMC gravy train-hopping with Breeders-style vocal melodics. The resulting track is a slow builder that escalates to ridiculously massive sounding proportions, its scale contributed to greatly by Delgados member Paul Savage whose Chem 19 production lends a real weight to the album.