The James Warner Prophecies: Things Change

Clever, quirky, pigeonhole-dodging debut.

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It’s quite an accomplishment to be thoroughly off-the-wall and yet produce an album that is this enjoyably cohesive, but this Midlands-based trio have pulled it off, and quite convincingly too.

Here we have great songs, excellent production, and just a touch of wilful eccentricity to spice things up – oh, and a fantastic singer in the form of guitarist Joe Brown. His tough but vulnerable vocals provide the band with a crucial identity, which is handy considering the tunes duck and weave all over the pop’n’rock shop.

TJWP largely specialise in harnessing a jaunty, Supergrass-type pop sensibility to a caustic, Pixies-like ferocity, and the likes of Av A Bite, Subterranean and the title track combine incisive lyrics with huge guitars and an intuitive control of emotional light and shade. Album highlight, though, must be Running Out for its guitar-wielding immensity and sprinting finish.

Smart, inventive and, above all, hummable. Where do TJWP go from here?