How to sell records in 2017. Form a supergroup that contains literally everyone who has recorded music. Here is a supergroup containing members of Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses, Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Fran Healy of Travis, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy. Really this is the brainchild of Eric Pulido of Midlake with the others guesting on the odd track but it's going to look really good on the sticker.
Lead track 'Restart' begs the question 'How many members of Championship indie rock does it take to sound like Gary Glitter'?
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Initially BNQT are everything that is wrong with everything. First up that vowel-less name - you are supposed to say Banquet. Who knew? I thought it was like NRBQ. Secondly it's the sort of thing that's sold into us as a 'supergroup' featuring members of Band of Horses, Franz Ferdinand, Grandaddy and er Travis but it's not. It's generally the work of one man - someone from Midlake - and the others are guest vocalists. though they do write some of their own bits. You just know that 'solo LP of one of Midlake' wouldn't have the same clout but all of this again just re-iterates the hype over content of much of today's music.
Luckily after a dreadful start with the opening 'Restart' which sounds like something the Glitter Band might have come up with on an off day the music isn't all that bad. Eric Pulido (for it is he) seems to be in thrall to the late '60s/early '70s smooth sounds of the likes of America, Steely Dan and Buffalo Springfield. I'm very fond of 'Unlikely Source' which from initially sounds like the theme tune from Cheers turns into a nice blast of LA pop that sounds like something from 'Can't Buy A Thrill' era Steely Dan. 'Mind of a Man' has something of sleek '70s Fleetwood Mac in it's mysterious Laurel Canyon verses and infectious chorus. The ghost of Lindsey Buckingham also shows up on the piano led 'Failing at Feeling' and 'Hey Banana' fails only because lyrics like 'I love you banana' are so ridiculous you can't take it seriously. There are a couple of truly terrible moments later on that threaten to derail the whole thing but there are also a few bright and lush things here that justify the tag of "quite good solo album from one of Midlake".
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