[B] 'Bastinado'[/B] really isn't that bad...

Dick Whittington fever strikes again. As the dead pop stars trudge disconsolately away from London, drowning in impotent rage, there are always a few for whom the bells toll. Cormac Battle might have thought that he’d blown his only chance (or had it blown for him, to use the confirmed loser’s logic) when his teenage outfit Kerbdog went down with all hands. But the Dublin-based singer-songwriter has heard destiny calling for a second time. Hence Wilt, his three-piece grown-up-core band – an exercise in close-formation melody where endless feverish swipes at an uncaring world belch out behind sweetie-pie pop tunes.

Surprisingly, given its dubious pedigree, ‘Bastinado’ really isn’t that bad. Once you’ve got over the fact that Wilt have learned everything they know from [I]The H|sker D| Guide To Being A Power Trio[/I], then there’s almost something charming about the Bob Mould-isms of ‘Open Arms’ and ‘I Found Out’. That the pace of ‘Bastinado’ rarely varies from that mythical musical tempo ‘chugging’ and provides a few too many cross-references to MTV monsters Semisonic, you can understand – having been burned once before, it’s not surprising Battle is aiming slightly lower with his second shot at stardom.

If rock’n’roll has mercy for a two-time loser, then Cormac Battle could yet hear the chimes of stardom clashing.