Album review: Fred Abbott - Serious Poke
PUBLISHED: 17:49 11 August 2015 | UPDATED: 17:49 11 August 2015
Noah And The Whale man's solo AOR debut underwhelms
Until recently the lead guitarist and keyboardist in the now-defunct folksy popsters Noah And The Whale, Abbott has seemingly been hiding his love of all-American guitar music under a bushel.
“It’s 4am in a parking lot/The city sleeps but we do not” he shoots from the hip in opening track Adrenaline Shot, a peppy crossbreed of Tom Petty-style MOR rock, early-Springsteen urgency and all-American symbolism.
If that’s already sounding alarm bells, proceed no further; Abbott’s clearly under the spell of the American dream in this solo debut, recorded acrsos three London studios including Shoreditch’s The Shop.
He sings of “driving down the PCH, in a Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, dreaming of a golden age” in Hollywood, a frustratingly uninspired plod through cliched Americanisms.
Splashes of slide guitar, Hammond organ, violin and cello can’t mitigate his blinkered stumbling through this tired genre, and his lightly gruff voice - potentially his saving grace - blurts out some seriously stunted lyrics, even on the recent free-download single Funny How Good It Feels.
Either reeking of cheesy, big-haired ‘70s/80s emo-rock or half-heartedly trying to resuscitate limp, piano-led ballads, Serious Poke lacks serious poke, never mind the soul and verve to make this stand out from the thousands of also-rans just as seduced by American AOR.