Album review: Laroca – ‘Valley Of The Bears’

Album review: Laroca - 'Valley Of The Bears'

Score

Less chill-out, more dull-out

Knob-twiddling new ageists Rob Pollard and Olly Wakeford first announced themselves in 2006 with ‘Friends In Far Away Places’, a record evoking adjectives like ‘cinematic’ and ‘chillaxing’ among wayfaring folk of the critical establishment. To those epithets we can now safely add ‘stultifying’ and ‘toss’, with the duo lending a session-musician sheen to proceedings thanks to an expanded live retinue of theremins, Rhodes and congas. Not that there’s anything wrong with this kind of genre-hopping electronica but, Christ on a gap year, at least Lemon Jelly had flair and a glint of mischief in the eye. Short of announcing, “all our operators are busy – your call is important to us” midway through every song, this could scarcely be more dull.

Alex Denney