Unkle - End Titles… Stories For Film
The real jewel in the crown lies with the album's headlining guest star, Josh Homme - 'Chemical' fizzes with a real sense of charisma.Read more on Unkle Listen to Unkle on Spotify
This is a bit weird, this one. First of all, 22 tracks is enough to scare off the most ardent musical enthusiast. Also, this album is directly inspired by the moving image and music's relation to film, so it's all a little unconventional. Strictly not an album of new material, this is a collection of material recorded in the two years since Unkle's last effort 'War Stories' was released, and this perhaps shows a little in the album's inconsistency.
Because for every standout full-band track, you get a few one-minute long cinema-inspired instrumental stopgaps, some lush, but some a little uninspiring, which stutter the flow of an album which has potential but doesn't quite take the chance. 'End Titles: Stories For Film' opens with one such cinematic vignette which doesn't really grab the listener, before launching into 'Cut Me Loose', which thankfully slides the tempo up and exhibits some much needed addictiveness. Meanwhile, 'Ghosts' shines with a grooving bass line and 'Nocturnal' engages the listener with floaty instrumentation, but the real jewel in the crown lies with the album's headlining guest star, Josh Homme.
Homme features on 'Chemical', a song which fizzes with a real sense of charisma and takes inspiration from his day job, Queens Of The Stone Age. It's perhaps one of the few tracks on this album that has the potential to succeed on a standalone basis and strays away from the sometimes tiresome grand style of film scores. Other honourable mentions go to the intense rework of Beethoven's 9th Symphony on 'Trouble in Paradise' (as heard on a recent BMV advert) and the sprightly 'Can't Hurt'.
Take away the cinematic in-betweens and you might begin to forget that this album is all about the moving image, diminishing the whole point of the album. It's all quite alot to get your ears around and a bit hit or miss, but there are some interesting tracks underneath all the cinematic gloss.