Although it may not sound like it from the title, Big Box Of Chocolates sees Wirral indie band Hooton Tennis Club come of age, exploring themes of love and loss. The band recruited the legendary Edwyn Collins to produce the album. It is their second album and follows on from their vivacious debut Highest Point In Cliff Town.
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I don't know what happened here.
Hooton Tennis Club burst onto the scene a couple of years ago with a couple of smashing singles but their debut 'Highest Point in Cliff Town' had the air of a band who had been thrust into the limelight before they'd had time to write any songs. They have an agreeably unpolished slacker sound but large swathes of this album sound like second division Brit-pop with particular nods to early Blur and Cast. 'Bad Dream' shows the liveliest side of the band with raw jangling guitars and slack jawed vocals and early single 'Katy- Anne Bellis' has an insouciant charm worthy of the Lemonheads or early noisy Teenage Fanclub. There's hints of the Coral and Edgar Summertyme on the bluesy 'Statue of the Greatest Woman I Know' and 'Meet Me at the Molly Bench' is possibly a future 6 Music playlister with it's tuneful burst of four chord ragged pop but more often than not it's this 'back to basics' approach that causes the album to flit idly past. It lacks mystery or purpose and without great songs, memorable songs it just becomes one big ball of passable guitar music.
I think this is better and more realised version of the band than found on their debut but still in the whole scheme of things it's enjoyable but so-so guitar music.
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