On this, their second full-length effort, The Bishops have eschewed the garagey sound of the previous album in favour of a broader, mod-ish palate. This doesn't work too well, unfortunately, and I found the album a disappointment on the whole.
Referencing, be it with hooks, vocal effects or whatever, groups such as The Purple Hearts, Buzzcocks, The Coral and even Kaiser Chiefs, the band never seem to manageÂ to come up with a particularly interesting tune on any of the 14 on offer here. Tracks one and two ('City Lights', 'Wandering By') fail to grip and pretty much plod along. Things seem to be looking up on 'Hold On', as it has a bit of urgency a la Buzzcocks 'Something's Gone Wrong Again' but immediately after we get back to meandering pace with the maudlin 'Nothing I Can Do Or Say'.
'Pass Away' picks up the pace once more but is again a very one dimensional outing. Next up come 'For Now' and 'Laughter In The Dark' which would both easily pass for Kaiser Chiefs album tracks from any time in their career. Just after the halfway point we get 'If You Leave Today', another sub-Squire thumper. Ninth comes 'Slow River' which sounds so much like its immediate predecessor that it's painful. Roger McGuinn should possibly consider suing for the band naming the dreary 'He Was A Friend Of Mine' as such.
At 11 'Rain Dance', with its Inspiral Carpets meets The Shadows sound is to my mind the best song on the album. After that we're onto a Coral soundalike in the shape of 'Train Won't Stop'. 'Free To Do What You Want' rocks along pretty well but is really too little too late to lift the whole package and lastly 'Carry On', with the inclusion of trumpets throughout, reminded me of The Housemartins in a jaunty frame of mind.