Comprised of three-quarters of well-regarded Canadian pop outfit P:ANO, on paper No Kids’ heady swirl of influences looks a fragrant dip well worth jumping in with. At times reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens’ naïve orchestral sweep, the trio’s bucolic indie is augmented by a more fragmentary approach that sees them share dorm space with the likes of The Dirty Projectors and Field Music.
All of which might be raising expectations unfairly - No Kids lack the cohesion any of these acts bring to the table, racing through genres with the kind of bland efficacy which stops just a few bars short of wry detachment and ends up non-committal and uninspiring. Heady swirl, indeed: much of Come Into My House unfolds with all the knacker-shrivelling underwhelmingness of a tepid bath.
Plus points on this genial but curiously uninvolving record are the arrangements which are airy and bright and take in trumpets, flutes and cellos for sun-dappled effect, 'I Love The Weekend''s lop-sided piano sashays which recall Stevens’ ‘Come On! Feel The Illinoise!’, and the gently insistent whimsy of ‘Neighbours Party’.
The band shares an unironic affection for contemporary r ‘n’ b with indie bleepers The Blow, evidenced on the laid-back new jack soul of ‘Bluster In The Air’ and in particular ‘The Beaches All Closed’ which sounds like – and we shit you not, folks – a pastel-sweatered R Kelly narrating an episode of ‘The Animals Of Farthing Wood’.
But, rendered largely in Nick Krgovich’s clipped, expressionless falsetto that’s like having someone ask you directions to the nearest Sainsbury’s Local for forty-odd minutes, the overall result is like a trip to the seaside on a blustery day; your parents are grinning through fixed teeth but their hair’s all plastered to their foreheads and there’s grains of sand in your crisp packet.
At best unpicking a delicate melancholy whose intricacies are a pleasure to behold, in inspirational terms at least, ‘Come Into My House’ proves for the time being that No Kids are heirs to many, sires of none.
6Alex Denney's Score