King Biscuit Time No Style(Regal)

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Time No Style

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Time No Style

King Biscuit Time

No Style [I](Regal)[/I]

The Beta Band are hit and miss at the best of times, so sensibly, vocalist Steve Mason has shrugged off the samples and intense experimentation of the Betas and relaxed a bit for his solo project. The aim isn’t to impress or break new ground, just make the music Mason loves.

The four tracks on King Biscuit Time‘s second EP are alarmingly low-key; as each one realises its potential, it trails off quietly. The real charm here is Mason’s light touch. Details are passed over. Sounds are muffled.

And, though at first it feels frustrating to hear such quiet beauty treated so nonchalantly, that’s really the reason ‘No Style’ feels so special – it’s like eavesdropping on something private and sacred. Opening track ‘I Walk The Earth’ is baggy updated for a new century, loops of gentle grooves shadowing Mason‘s soft melodies. It’s The Beta Band with a clear head and a grand plan, The Stone Roses gone lo-fi and enjoying the liberation. But the real surprise is hidden in track three, ‘I Love You’. Listen carefully through the acoustic guitars and the gentle chime of xylophones and you can hear the tender, soothing lyrics, “Yesterday I cried for the first time, just another day to call my own”. King Biscuit Time are more than a match for Mason‘s day job. In fact, understatement has rarely sounded so important.

SIOBHAN GROGAN