Ocean Colour Scene: Painting

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What with Wiggo’s knighthood and Weller’s musical renaissance, it’s been a good 12 months for those of a Mod-ish persuasion. And the latest album from Brum’s eternally underrated Brit-poppers should only add to the festivities.

Benefitting from a clearing of the creative pipes induced by Simon Fowler and Steve Cradock’s respective solo albums, the band’s tenth record is a classy return to the schizophrenic blueprint mapped out on Moseley Shoals.

But while Fowler’s introspective folk melodies (I Don’t Want To Leave England, The Winning Side) remain contrasted with breezy anthems (Painting, Goodbye Old Town), added colour is provided by Cradock’s inventive arrangements and Fowler’s journalistic lyrics – If God Made Everyone addresses Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

The result is an adventurous reconfiguring of OCS’s usual canvas, although you suspect fundamentalists may baulk at the abstract riffing of Cramps-style rocker Professor Perplexity.

Paul Moody is a writer whose work has appeared in the Classic Rock, NME, Time Out, Uncut, Arena and the Guardian. He is the co-author of The Search for the Perfect Pub and The Rough Pub Guide.