Sound: This is the third time that Miles Kane has made a first album. While he is only 26 he has already been in three different bands but "Colour Of The Trap" it is the first time he goes it alone. Kane is best known as the other half of Arctic Monkeys front man, Alex Turner's side project, The Last Shadow Puppets. Their 2008 side project The Age Of The Understatement went to number one in the UK album charts. Kane was also the guitarist in The Little Flames and front man of his own band The Rascals. The Little Flames never made and album and The Rascals debut, "Rascalize" was a major flop both critically and commercially. On "Colour Of The Trap" you get the feeling Miles Kane wants to prove that he is a talented artist in his own right rather than someone riding on the coat tails of Alex Turner's success.
The first thing that hits you about Miles Kane's sound is that it's clear he was born in the wrong era. This record is straight up rock and roll. His voice is like a blend of both Marc Bolan ("Come Closer") and John Lennon ("Colour Of The Trap"). The guitars are fuzzy, rather than distorted and there isn't any real musical innovation. However Miles Kane has defiantly developed an instantly recognisable sound of his own. While the riffs are poppy and echo the 60's, Kane uses Tremolo and Phaser pedals set to the max in an effort to add his own spin to his classic rock sound. This signature sound is most recognisable on the instant summer classics "Rearrange" and "Quicksand". I have this record on vinyl, and feel that its classic rock sound certainly plays best with the vintage warmth and crackle of an LP. // 8
Lyrics: While Kane is a decent lyricist in his own right, he isn't anywhere near the standard of his fellow Shadow Puppet Alex Turner. Kane's songs are, at heart, filled with anxiety. See "Take The Night From Me", "Yet still I've been skipping through my years, to cover my sacred tears, ready for the heartaches and fears". What he does posses is an amazing set of pipes, Kane's range might not have as much depth as someone like Damon Albarn or Matt Bellamy; however his singing ability is something that sets him apart from other acts today.
Songs such as "Rearrange" and "Quicksand" see Miles show off his lower end "crooner" range, while "King Crawler" and "Counting Down The Days" could both pass muster as Bond themes and are sung in a similar vein to past classics. It is on the songs "Come Closer", "Inhaler" and "Telepathy" that Kane excels, showcasing the full prowess of his vocals. While underneath you can hear the influence on his singing of his idol John Lennon, he adds a full throated roar over the top that takes these songs to a new level. The record also features vocals from Gruff Rhys on "Quicksand" and barely noticeable vocals from Noel Gallagher on "My Fantasy". // 8
Overall Impression: The most impressive tracks on this album are:
- Come Closer
- My Fantasy
- Colour Of The Trap
This album shows off the talents Miles Kane possesses, as well as just how much of an influence he had on The Age Of The Understatement. I love Miles Kane's sound, and other than Noel Gallagher, he is the best solo artist around today. This isn't a stellar debut such as the likes of "Is This It" or "Definitely Maybe"; however, it does indicate that Miles Kane has the potential to one day deliver a modern classic. Coming off this album Miles Kane has proven he is not just Alex Turner's mate, but a fantastic solo artist in his own right, perhaps even the best in the world. // 8