With a John McEntire-produced album in the can, much is expected from harmonious poppers The Research, their deadpan-meets-the-delirious kitchen-sinkers receiving Chinese whisper recommendations from the right corners of the relevant press. This double a-side effort doesn't disappoint whatsoever, chief Researcher Russell weaving uncomplicated tales of crazy love - that's 'I Love You, But...' - and quasi-melodramatic loss in waiting - that's t'other one.
But - and_ gawdnose_ there's always one sting in the tail - one does wonder how this absolutely unfashionable merriment can transform itself involuntarily into some unit-shifting beast to match today's indie-pop heavyweights. Sweetness and smiles just isn't rock 'n' roll, y'know (however much you use the f-word, which is a lot incidentally), and when you're pitching a product that's rooted itself somewhere in the vast gulf between The Tindersticks and The Teletubbies, well, folk'll confuse easy.
Oh bollocks to reservations born of commercial doubts: The Research are lovely. Get some in and crack y'self a Cheshire grin.
7Mike Diver's Score