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Album Review: Beans On Toast - Writing On The Wall

Beans On Toast is quite simply the male version of Kate Nash, singing to melodies that Seasick Steve would be proud of. It’s an interesting combination that may grate on some people’s nerves after a while, but for the persistent listeners out there, you will love it. On ‘Writing On The Wall’ he is joined by a full band that adds more depth to his music, and makes for a fantastic second album. And all this from a guy who released a two-disc 50 track record as his début album. Yes it’s fun, yes it’s catchy, but more importantly, it’s wonderfully eccentric.

Now, this album is Marmite. It probably won't be everybody's cup of tea, and you'll know from the first track whether you are going to like it or not. 'Artmoneyart' completely sets a precedent for the rest of the album and the overly-Essex vocals compliment the country vibe brilliantly. It's upbeat, capivating and very original. 'Old Grunge' carries on along the same lines, but contains some truely inspired lyrics. This song is all about various music genres, and provides a bit of a social commentary, mentioning many influential artists and trends of the last 60 years. It's a simple yet very witty song, and is definitely one of the best on the album.

‘Methadrone’ is another satirical look at the world, and yet again has some brilliant lyrics. “This is a song about glamorising drugs/I advise you to stick some powder up your nose” is the opening line, and this tone is kept up throughout. This track would not be out of place at a hoedown thanks to the violin, but again it is a funny, catchy song.

‘Left On The M25’ is the only mediocre song on the album. The vocals are not as pristine and it borderlines on being repetitive unlike the previous tracks. In contrast to the first half of the album, the last few tracks are slower paced and more serious. This continues into the final track, ‘A Real Life Country Song’ which features female vocals, a very nice touch that blends with the song brilliantly. The lyrics match the usual style and although some of the Essex-ness has gone, the grimy vocals are still very distinctive.

Out of the 10 tracks on this album, not one of them is poor. ‘Writing On The Wall’ is an original and very inspired album, with consistently good lyrics and melodies. Beans On Toast has one of the most distinctive voices in a long time, and blended with the sea shanty/country vibe, it creates a sound like no other. Although it might be something you’ll hear on BBC Radio 2, it’s so unconventional that everyone should give it a listen. As I said earlier, it’s Marmite, but personally, I love it.


'Writing On The Wall' by Beans On Toast is available now through Xtra Mile Records.

Beans On Toast on MySpace.

Blaise Ruston

Alter The Press!