Sunday, 8 December 2013

BEANS ON TOAST - ALBUM REVIEW

Beans On Toast - Giving Everything (Xtra Mile Recordings) 
Beans On Toast - Giving Everything

I think Beans On Toast is a the band or artist logo I have seen most without ever having heard a single note of the music so I was quite excited to get to this album through that there internet. One listen to this album and I realise that I think just about all of us have a friend like Beans On Toast, whether you like it or not. You know that guy who disapproves of everything, knows all about obscure conspiracy theories and gives you a frown every time you eat something made by a company with questionable ethics. Kicking things off with a rile against the monarchy, 'Harry In A Helicopter', shortly followed by the jaunty but slightly directionless 'Things'. Then follows a whinge about not being able to get a gig at Glastonbury called 'Can't Get A Gig At Glastonbury' which admits that it is self-indulgent but that's about the same as starting a sentence with "I don't want to offend you but".

The sweetly honest ode to a guitar in the shape of 'Favourite Thing I Own' is a redeemable feature of the album before returning to the self pitying theme on 'Who Is Big Jeff?'. 'Sold Out Shows' has a melancholy feel about it as the death of Rock'n'Roll's edginess is lamented but when the singer admits that they are touring (albeit reluctantly) around the country and playing in O2 Academies it smacks of that friend of mine again - turning up to meet you in Starbucks only to spend half an hour blabbering on about the homogenisation of the high street. 'Post Bestival Festival Blues' is another self-absorbed number while 'Charlie' finds our singer informing us that he's giving up his cocaine habit - how noble. Beans On Toast looks at the rest of the world for a moment on 'The American' and does his best Billy Bragg impression singing about Twin Towers conspiracy theories. Meanwhile, 'Throat Cancer' tells us of a trip to the doctor that resulted in the singer giving up smoking and just how easy it is to give up (again, we all know that mate right?). Final track, 'Keep You', is a more honest and open track but why leave such openness to the end of the album when my mind is already made up? I can see why folk like Beans On Toast, the songs are original and the lyrical content is far from predictable but every time he starts going off on one I just want to skip forward a track - maybe because I can't do that in real life. Beans On Toast has the approach and style of Frank Turner and Billy Bragg with a little Cosmo Jarvis thrown in for good measure but he doesn't have the incisiveness or wit to hold a torch to any of these artists I'm afraid. Shame, I was really looking forward to this as well.


Live Dates:

11th December - Garage Venue, Swansea
12th December - The Old Bookshop, Bristol
13th December - The Haunt, Brighton

Supporting Frank Turner on the following dates:
6th February - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
7th February - Capital Arena, Nottingham
8th February - Corn Exchange, Edinburgh
9th February - Arena, Manchester
11th February - Pavilions, Plymouth
12th February - O2 Arena, London

13th February - Guildhall, Portsmouth

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