Puddle City Racing

Like Welsh hip-hop and Swedish reggae, in a right-thinking world, Newport Pagnell Americana should never ever work. And yet here it does, working like a starving sweat-shop slave: one Matthew Thomas Dillon producing star-swept piano-led alt.indie, like The Polyphonic Spree, Mercury Rev, Guided By Voices and The Flaming Lips all joining the same grief therapy group. Gloriously fuzzy choirs get trampled by monster-movie drums on ‘Tokyo Moon’, ‘Boarding Lounges’ sounds like Arcade Fire heroically carrying Dillon up a steep hill (grand piano and all) and the rest is the kind of panoramic indie wonderment you’d expect him to have written while looking out over the Grand Canyon at sunrise rather than a grotty service station on the M1. What the hell next? Australian techno?

Mark Beaumont