Album Review: Miles Kane - 'Colour Of The Trap'

His famous pals may be on hand, but the Last Shadow Puppet’s solo debut is very much his own baby

The majority of Miles Kane’s career so far could be likened to one of his own farts. He may very well like and boast about it, but to the rest of us it’s been largely hot air with little substance. The Little Flames were just, ahem, a flash in the pan, and The Rascals were an embarrassing skidmark on the British guitar music scene post-Arctic Monkeys. It was only when teamed up with his (pri)mate Alex Turner for The Last Shadow Puppets that the beans finally spilled on Kane’s talent, and his deep and abiding true love for ’60s garage, soul and sordid rock’n’roll came to the fore.

Kane’s debut solo album is a continuation of that love affair with everything downright dirty. On the brilliant opener ‘Come Closer’, sleaze drips from every “wooooah” and “ahhh” as a dirty riff licks at the inner thigh. It’s no surprise that the promo video to this single features a sultry Daisy Lowe, flirtatiously dancing in lingerie – it’s a perfect teaser for the rest of the album, which sweats with gritty naughtiness.

The filthy theme runs through the Joe Meek heart-skip of ‘Rearrange’ and the jazz-bar romp of ‘Happenstance’, which features some breathy backing vocals from Clémence Poésy – Fleur Delacour from Harry Potter, like. She’s not the only guest. This may be his debut solo album, but by no means has Miles gone it alone. Most notably, Noel Gallagher pops up on harmony duties on a sweltering ‘My Fantasy’, and Gruff Rhys – as well as providing backing vocals throughout the album – has a co-writing credit on the apt psych-rock of ‘Kingcrawler’.

Interestingly, Alex Turner makes a cameo appearance on ‘Telepathy’. Sadly, before you get too excited, he only appears in the liner notes as a co-writer. However, this is the best track on ‘Colour Of The Trap’ and comes on like ’60s garage band The Bonniwell Music Machine covering Arctic Monkeys.

This is an album full of wit, charisma and charm but, frustratingly, there are moments that bring it down. ‘Counting Down The Days’ doesn’t seem to go anywhere and sounds like a forgotten off-cut from ‘The Age Of The Understatement’, while ‘Take The Night From Me’, the worst offender, comes across like a Demis Roussos lullaby. Every time a cymbal crashes all we can visualise is a hairy, fat Greek man dressed in a kaftan smashing plates. ‘Colour Of The Trap’ isn’t quite a perfect debut, but by stepping out from the shadows, Miles Kane has come away smelling of roses.

Jamie Crossan

Order a copy of Miles Kane's 'Colour Of The Trap' from Amazon

Miles Kane - 'Come Closer' (NME Exclusive) video

Miles Kane: 'Noel Gallagher is a legend for appearing on my solo album'
7 / 10
Miles Kane at Camden Crawl 2011
Video: Miles Kane at Camden Crawl 2011

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