James Pants - Welcome
Matt Haigh 27/07/2008
We live in a very positive time for new artists. Almost anybody(it seems) with the bare minimum of musical talent can spend a few months creating an album in their bedroom, bathroom or neighbour's garage and, with a little luck and a few contacts in the right places, see their CD on the shelves of their local HMV. So popular is the bare, raw sound of lo-fi music that it has even become its own genre. However, while it is true that anybody can make an album these days, that's not the same thing as saying everybody should. James Pants falls into the latter category.
If you remember Tom Vek, you'll remember him as the guy who supposedly made his album in his dad's garage and became the new kid on the block to talk about in 2006. You may also remember his raw, drum and cymbal-heavy sound. It was like Beck without the post-modern experimentation or clutter. 'Welcome' shares much in common with Vek's sound, except it lacks the hooks, riffs or melodies to pull you in and keep your interest. I could write about individual tracks, but the problem is they all start to blend into each other very quickly and become indistinguishable. It simply lacks creativity.
The album blurb sells it all very well, as these things are designed to do. We're told the record blends 80's soul, electro boogie, early rap, new rave and post-punk disco, but none of those fancy buzz-words actually mean anything when listening to the album, because at the end of the day it just sounds like a clattering mess of boring b-sides dreamt up on a child's keyboard two decades ago. The latter part of that sentence might even make this sound quirky and interesting and fun, but it really isn't. James Pants - the clue is in the name.