London W1 Li'l Backyard Club

To their credit, there's a palpable sense here of a band attempting to accommodate all their diverse influences, even if they lose a distinct personality in the process...

You can't please all the people all of the time. Super J Lounge, it seems, can't even satisfy themselves, such is the schizophrenic nature of their sound. After a compelling surge of smouldering bass and echo-laden drums, they suddenly lurch into what sounds like a Dandy Warhols B-side. Frontman Stuart Smith furrows his brow deeply, as if unsure of what's going on.



To their credit, there's a palpable sense here of a band attempting to accommodate all their diverse influences, even if they lose a distinct personality in the process. With two members from Arizona and two from Kent, it's obvious that they've awoken each other to a wide range of possibilities, throwing everything from Brian Eno ambience to Pixies distortion into their sound.



In more adept hands - Beck's say, or The Beta Band's - these disparate noises would collide and meld, creating frazzled pop magic. But Super J Lounge play it safe, preferring to segregate their musical components. Only on 'Billboard' do they attempt to fuse rock dynamics with a stuttering Kraftwerk beat, but the computer is soon drowned out by another guitar outburst. Smith, meanwhile, jigs his Nick Drake fringe modestly, while his body attempts to swagger within a Greg Dulli suit. While he seems this confused, his band will remain just as baffling.

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