HAS MILES FINALLY WALKED OUT OF THE SHADOW OF THE FLAMES?
It really annoys me when I ask people “Oh have you heard of Miles Kane?” and they reply “No but I’ve heard of the Last Shadow Puppets!”. That’s the problem why Miles is not as ‘big’ as other Indie success stories like Jake Bugg and The Vaccines, and why some people see him as “the other one” from the Last Shadow Puppets. I disagree. Miles Kane is the definition of the modern mod rocker and his second solo album ‘Don’t forget who you are’ is just like one of his suits, measured, sharp and extremely well put together.
The new album has burst the clean, introductory bubble of Kane’s first solo album ‘Colour of the Trap’.You can really feel the passion and almost aggressive writing in his tracks ‘Give up’ and ‘Darkness in our Hearts’.The pumping drums and Miles’ ruthless scouse voice in ‘Give Up’ is a small invitation to what you might see at a Miles Kane gig. The whole album almost feels like it’s a live album, not that that’s a bad thing at all.The screams, the relentless guitar solos, crunchy guitar riffs and meaty bass lines give your ears a good mod kicking. Darkness in your Heart is one of the best songs on the album, it has the smoothness of the falsetto harmonies in the chorus and then spiky but irresistible guitar playing in the verses.This is recurrent in other tracks like ‘Taking Over‘, ‘Tonight’ and ‘Caught in the Act’ which is one of the best parts of Miles Kane’s writing. He has a catchy, almost pop like centre to the majority of his songs that would only contain a few chords and notes and then once he’s got your ears hooked on he’ll take them on an uncontrollable mod roller-coaster. This was always there from the beginning as tracks like ‘Come Closer’ and ‘Inhaler’ from his previous album also had this. But Kane shows his true colours in his new album within the first 10 minutes of listening as you really get a sense that Kane has moved forward musically in the right direction. Outrageous amounts of energy, full intensity and forthright lyrics really set the tone for the rest of the album and maintains what you would see at one of his gigs.
One of the cleverest things Kane can do is hand pick some of the best features from the British music scene in the past 60 years and use them in his songs and make them seem modern.You can see this when Miles shows off his best Pete Townsend impression at the start of ‘Bombshells’ and his Oasis/Paul Weller style writing in ‘Fire in my heart’.But the most impressive thing about ‘Don’t Forget’ about ‘Who you are’, is that you would go oh yeah that’s Miles Kane if you heard him on the radio or walking past a shop that had his music on and for a solo artist that has only really been on the scene since 2011 that is a massive achievement. Maybe people will finally recongise him for being Miles Kane and not that one who is Alex Turner’s best mate?. I hope so.
TRACK BY TRACK
TAKING OVER: Thick crunchy guitar playing.That’s the first thing you hear on the album and mixed with the butcher’s knife of Kane’s voice cutting through the chords just equals in a tasty meal to tuck in to! 9/10
DON’T FORGET WHO YOU ARE: One of the catchiest songs on the album and Miles almost tries to deliver a message to people who doubt his abilities by the lyrics Don’t Build me up/Make up your mind/And keep the faith/I’ll keep the faith” 9/10
BETTER THAN THAT: Personally this has a feel of Eugene McGuinness (Kane’s ex rhythm guitar player, make sure to check him out…he’s really good and very underrated) to me.This could have been through all the time he spent with him over the years all over the world. 9/10
OUT OF CONTROL: You almost hear John Lennon for a second when you first listen to this track. Miles couldn’t try harder in this track to sound like the Beatles. The ascending strings at the start are almost something akin to ‘A Day in the life’ by The Beatles which is not a bad thing at all. 6/10
BOMBSHELLS: The drums maintain that edgy intense feel to the album and a cutting, bending solo gives the song substance.But for me this song is one of the songs to ‘fill up the album’ 5/10
TONIGHT: Kane’s Arrogant snarls to start the track really presses the buttons to send you back up to the top floor of intensity where the first three tracks are.This is the sort of song you’ll hear whilst in Topman or Urabn Outfitters whilst trying clothes on. 8/10
WHAT CONDITION AM I IN: The full sounding chords and Miles’s syncopated melodies makes this song very catchy, you’ll be singing the chorus of this tomorrow. 7/10
FIRE IN MY HEART: Paul Weller features by playing piano for Miles and his sophisticated acoustic guitar writing results in a good listen. 7/10
YOU’RE GOING TO GET IT: After an acoustic break Miles pumps the intensity right back up again.This song has got everything you want to hear from Wirral’s finest export. 9/10
GIVE UP: Miles has an almost seductive, velvet like voice when singing “you always get what you want, by strutting your stuff” which when contrasted with his fierce cutting scouse voice makes an amazing track.Some of the best drumming of the album on this track too. 9/10
DARKNESS IN OUR HEARTS: The Bass makes this track.The Mccartney like melodic walking bass line creates a smooth well polished chorus. Doubled with an aggressive guitar solo from Miles and shouty singing at the end leaves you wanting to listen to the whole album again. 10/10
Thank you for reading.