The Night Cafe: 0151

review night cafe x1 cong

When a band calls its album after its home city’s dialling code, you know they’re proud Liverpudlians, (and no review copy will be finding its way to The Sun) but you can’t tell, the odd accent aside, that they’re from Liverpool or even England — they’ve got a West Coast feel that’s more California than Morecombe.

They write simple infectious pop tunes that remind us of The Lemonheads and it’s a likeable set of work. It’s overly long but they’re aware of this and break it up with interludes, short ambient gaps to give the listener a break.

After the ambient intro, Finders Keepers sets the tone: mid-paced and jingly-jangly guitars, with melodic vocals. On this and on all other tracks the drummer stands out as the best musician, tight but with lots of intelligent work without ever showing off, really adding to the tunes. Top marks, Carl Dillon; not enough drummers get praise.

Track two Felicity opens with sharp Edge-style guitar but calms down, while Please has a nifty drum intro; the song itself reminded us of Manchester’s defunct Longview and their heart-on-the-sleeve indie rock.

After this come a couple of unremarkable songs for which you need to like the overall vibe rather than anything in the song, before Turn picks it up again, one of the stronger tracks. Calling Your Name (Again) is more adventurous as far as song structure goes.

Then we’re back in the groove; near the end Mixed Signals picks things up.

Still: an enjoyable album that stands repeated plays, despite its length and tendency towards the routine.


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