Album review

Buffseeds - The Picture Show

Indie hopefuls Buffseeds have an ace in the hole in lead singer-songwriter Kieran Scragg. On "Sparkle Me", the opening track of the band's debut album, you're convinced it's a woman's voice. Then it slowly dawns you're listening to a male falsetto—like a castrato Michael Stipe against a backdrop of subtly shimmering contemporary psychedelia. Scragg's songwriting is as ambitious as his voice is unusual and he's not afraid to tackle such subjects as political corruption, personal cowardice and family illness in his impressive compositions. If the best of last year's new UK bands were The Electric Soft Parade and The Coral, then 2003 has already produced one to rival them.

Rating: 3 / 10


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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...