Obi – Dice Man Lopez

Debut from London quartet named after an Arlo Guthrie creation, not an Alec Guinness character. Sorry

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If Alfie or Gorky’s yank your chain, chances are Obi will too. As on 2002’s sprightly mini album The Magic Land Of Radio, there are nods to classic American heritage (country-fiddler “Chewing My Soul”; “The Tale Of Old Rodriquez” trumpeting Arthur Lee-isms), but this is distinctly English fare, a latterday Lilac Time with Ian McCulloch out front. The La’s without the shoulder chips, perhaps. Leader Damian Katkhuda’s easy ear for a melody makes sad-sweet work of “Sleep Well Dear Friend” and the lovely “To Some Folk” which, wedded to Dom Hazlehurst’s soothing arpeggios, partly compensates for the lack of cutting edge.

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