The Aliens - The Sunlamp Show EP

An abject failure to control an Austin Powers-like psychedelic mojo is their undoing on the trippy 'Boats' and the bloated 'Pernickitty Jack'.

Read more on The Aliens Listen to The Aliens on Spotify
Released 5 May 2009 | Pet Rock | By Greg Inglis | Rating: 2-5
The Aliens - The Sunlamp Show EP

If this record came with a parental advisory sticker it would read "contains influences from your Dad's record collection", though there needn't be any shame in that. This is a mentality firmly shared by the Scottish trio, whose previous exploits as part of The Beta Band were equally out of step with modernity.

The title track of their latest EP sounds like vintage ELO with The Beach Boys on backing vocals. Sun-kissed harmonies and subtle flickers of psychedelia give it a distinct summer feel before giving way to ripples of electronica and a dream-like instrumental finale. Having shown such promise it's very much downhill from then on, as the Disco Bloodbath Effect and Manmouse remixes strip the song of its charm by turning it into an insipid slice of electronica by numbers.

An abject failure to control an Austin Powers-like psychedelic mojo is their undoing on the trippy 'Boats' and the bloated 'Pernickitty Jack'. The latter starts off like a dead ringer of The White Stripes' 'Hotel Yorba' with nonsense vocals before disappearing into a black hole of insomnia-inducing vocals and clashing instrumentation.

When The Aliens manage to curb their natural disposition for overblown vacuous bluster they are capable of delivering endearing retro-tinged alt-rock vignettes. Frustratingly the extra terrestrial ones fail more than they succeed.