Most groups send out three track demos which intend to 'give a flavour' of their doubtless delightful and multi-faceted 'oeuvre'. Credit then to The Composers for sending out an entire album of unreleased tracks, but in fact, they'd have been far better off sticking to the usual demo protocol.
For they start off with two decent tracks - 'Evacuate London', on first impression, will put you in mind of Pulp's 'Sorted For E's and Wizz', but repeated listens are rewarded by the revelation that in fact, it sounds nothing like Pulp whatsoever - it's just that it shares a particular acoustic guitar downbeat with that song. Ultimately it skirts closer to prime Blur with its psych-pop organ flourish and, of course, its lyrical concerns.
Certainly, there's a touch of the arch in Dan Edelstyn's vocal, best heard on what is The Composers best track, 'Genius or Failure'. 'I'm in the leisure centre/I'm at the epicentre/Of all that I resent, oh no' will do me as a lyric and the track has inherent hookiness and style. There's a mid-ninetiesness to it which somehow, I don't mind. Even when guitarist Francesco Accurso rips into a bona fide seventies rock solo, it doesn't unsettle my nerves.
Unfortunately, after a rattling good start, the demo collapses - there's no excuse for 'Jazz Girl' (!!!) and by the time 'Sad Disco' (!!!) comes around, you're left wondering whether you've heard this one before. It's a relief, then, when the guts that made the start of the demo so succesful return, as 'London Is So Shy' combines the band's better elements to create an educated, droll, pleasing, dirty mess of a track, with Edelstyn triumphantly 'lalaaa'-ing over the top. He seems to thrive upon squall, as it contrasts with his well-mannered, honeyed tones.
Hence, my counsel (as if I know anything about anything) runs thusly. Lose the wispiness that infests tracks like 'Vein Jane Blues' - in fact lose tracks like that altogether, for they exhibit cloying, muso tendencies. Band, give in to your baser instincts and give your singer a turbo-fuelled platform to stand on. He'll do you proud.