Album review: Fred Abbott - Serious Poke

Fred Abbott - Serious Poke

Fred Abbott - Serious Poke - Credit: Archant

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.

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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.

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Rating: 2/5

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