The Race From The Burning Building LP

Another disappointment, then.

Back in the mid-’90s, the live presence of [a]Linoleum[/a] was a refreshing jolt to senses offended by the unremarkable likes of [a]Sleeper[/a]. As Sonya Echobelly cavorted her last in schoolgirl uniform, [a]Linoleum[/a]’s Caroline Finch smouldered slowly, sighing cracked lullabies rent apart by guitarist Paul JonesPixies fixation. Sadly, little of this magic translated on to their ill-fated debut LP, ‘Dissent’, and [a]Linoleum[/a]’s time seemed to have passed, underlined by Jones‘s departure to Elastica.

Opener ‘Your Back Again’, all blurred guitar mush and Finch‘s distinctive torch-throes, suggests glimmeringly that ‘The Race…’ might be a second-coming for these classy noir-balladeers, but [a]Linoleum[/a] are quickly undone by their propensity for indie-[I]ordinaire[/I]. Take the revving Britpop stomp of ‘Sing To Me’, reeking of lager-splashed indie-clubs, or their overplayed cover of The Passions‘I’m In Love With A German Film Star’, a painfully obvious stab at smoky mysteriousness.

Between these two nadirs, the genuinely moving ‘Til Daylight Found Them’, and the [I]excellent[/I] Sonic Youth-esque squall of ‘This Scene’ strike surer, but by now Finch‘s vocal – fragile like a snowflake, mannered as a doily – has outstayed its welcome, and the over-familiar guitar riffs have choked any rising enthusiasm. Another disappointment, then.