Album review: Kyle Craft

Kyle Craft - Showboat Honey (Sub Pop)

Kyle Craft.

Kyle Craft.

IN SOME corner of a foreign field - Portland, Oregon, to be precise - it is forever 1972. David Bowie is always Ziggy Stardust and T.Rex's glitterburst boogie is the soundtrack to everyone's teenage years.

Kyle Craft makes no apologies for his love of Marc Bolan, as the lolling, dreamy ballad/cautionary tale 'Johnny (Free & Easy )', and closing track, 'She's Lily Riptide' make clear. Indeed on the latter, the manner in which Craft's voice quakes, shudders, and (cosmic ) dances is perhaps the finest homage to Bolan since David Bowie's own tribute on 'Black Country Rock' from 1970.

Yet, what prevents them from being solely homage is Craft's melodic sense ('Lily Riptide' is quite the earworm ), his knack for creating an arresting chorus, and ability to imbue his songs with an atmosphere that accentuates the lyrical subject matter - check the swaggering glam of '2 Ugly 4 NY'.

However it is nice to report that the finest song on Showboat Honey - 'Broken Mirror Pose' - is the least comparable to any of Craft's inspirations, built, as it is, around an insistent, repeating guitar figure, with each verse rising to a chorus-like crescendo, creating a sense of the epic in under three minutes. Worth investigating, if you have no problem with the man wearing his influences on his sleeve (which I don't ).


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