Release Date: May 9, 2011
Record label: Columbia
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
As the non-Arctic Monkeys half of the British supergroup duo the Last Shadow Puppets, '60s-centric singer/songwriter Miles Kane crafted folky, enigmatic pop songs heavily indebted to the dark, baroque chamber pop of Scott Walker. On his 2011 debut solo album, Colour of the Trap, Kane once again delves into the psychedelic era with a connoisseur's ear for detail and comes away with another similarly ambitious collection of bluesy psych- and folk-inflected rock. In fact, with fellow Puppet Alex Turner on board as co-composer for half of the tracks, the album could very well serve as a kind of follow-up to the Puppets' 2008 debut, The Age of the Understatement.
It’s easy to feel sorry for Miles Kane; pretty much every review you read of his debut ‘solo’ record (we’ll get back to that) will inevitably couch it within the context of his relationship with a certain Arctic Monkey, and their critically acclaimed and successful joint outing, the Scott Walker/Billy Fury influenced The Age of the Understatement. They may even accuse him of riding on coat tails, but what they’re missing is that Miles is clearly very much his own man; it’s likely that Alex Turner took just as much from the experience of making that record as his buddy – potentially even more, given the degree to which this accomplished debut also draws on Kane’s decade of choice. With The Last Shadow Puppets on the back burner, Colour of the Trap is clearly evidence of a 24-year-old striking out on his own, leaving behind two other bands – not counting the venture with Turner – a supermodel relationship (Agyness Deyn) and embarking out on what must seem, to a degree, like a make or break move.
The majority of [a]Miles Kane[/a]’s career so far could be likened to one of his own farts. He may very well like and boast about it, but to the rest of us it’s been largely hot air with little substance. [a]The Little Flames[/a] were just, ahem, a flash in the pan, and [a]The Rascals[/a] were an embarrassing skidmark on the British guitar music scene post-[a]Arctic Monkeys[/a].
Review Summary: The rascal steps out of the shadow, but the monkey is not yet off his back.The name may not be instantly familiar to those outside of the U.K, but at just 25 years of age, Miles Kane has already achieved a lot during his short career in the music industry. The charismatic Merseysider began as a guitarist for The Little Flames, before taking the reins as front-man of over-hyped quartet The Rascals. Kane's most significant break however, was when he joined forces with Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco) to form the critically acclaimed outfit The Last Shadow Puppets.
If the past is a foreign country, Miles Kane has a green card for the 1960s, so firmly does his musical vision reside in that time. Where his work with Alex Turner as the Last Shadow Puppets was hailed for its reimagining of Scott Walker-style grandeur, his solo debut sees the decade through a magpie's eye. Jaunty Motown harmonies (Quicksand) are juxtaposed with pulse-raising rock'n'roll riffs (Come Closer) calling to mind everyone from the Stooges to the Supremes.
Dissapointment, eh? It’s not much fun is it? But if by some perverted twist of sanity you get off on the stuff, you’ve found your next fix, hooray! And it's with just such an awkwardly inverted frown that I’d like to introduce Miles Kane. Once frontman to the Rascals, he is perhaps best known for his work as one half of the Last of The Shadow Puppets alongside Alex Turner, a band that produced the excellent The Age of the Understatement. It is a shame then that The Colour Of The Trap, his solo debut, fails to fulfill expectations in spectacularly unemphatic fashion.
Kane’s solo debut could have been unearthed from Joe Meek’s basement. Mark Beaumont 2011 When Miles Kane absconded from his day band The Rascals to knock out the scintillating Bacharach update that was the Last Shadow Puppets album with Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, he clearly found his niche. For this, his solo debut, Kane carves for himself a position as one of alternative pop’s prime retro-visionists as firmly as Brian Cox has cemented his role as the universe’s smiliest harbinger of doom.