Album review

Serene

The brainchild of Seattle-born 21-year-old Ryan Beatty, Serene's debut is nothing if not big on ambition. Beatty admits a fondness for Built To Spill and Sunny Day Real Estate, and much of the music taps into the loud/quiet dynamic and stuttering invention of the latter's How It Feels To Be Something (1998).

There are echoes of Pavement and Modest Mouse among the pulses and explosions, but it's not until the home straight that he finally sounds uninhibited, cutting loose on "Last Words Of A Fallen Angel" and relaxing into the stoner vibe of "Autumn".

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...