Let's Go Extinct
(New World Records)
It takes a while to find Fanfarlo on this record. Obviously Let's Go Extinct is all their own work, but it's impossible to listen to it and not hear echoes of other music. In the past Lloyd Cole, Talking Heads and Prefab Sprout have been name-checked as apparent influences, and all are present and correct here. Add Altered Images, Deacon Blue and even Then Jericho to the list, and at times it sounds as if someone has taken 1980s music and squeezed it all over this record. Still, if you can get past that there is something here. Let's Go Extinct is songwriter Simon Balthazar's (sort of) concept album about evolution (if you started thinking Jordan: The Comeback at this point, then so did I). You can take or leave the widescreen ambition because it comes couched in a likeable pop sensibility that - once you get past the Ricky and Lorraine comparisons - may have you humming along, especially on Myth Of Myself with its Dexys strings and Balthazar's emotive-but-never blustering vocals. In short, likeable in spite of itself.