Stephen Malkmus - Stephen Malkmus

To be honest I don't know, nor care, why he split up Pavement - in my eyes they always seemed typical of that harmful indie mentality that in the UK was typical of the Fall and their ilk. The music was fine, I even found my foot tapping along to their last album, but they never had the glamour or sound bites that make a band transcend to the realms of the gods. Those grieving Pavement fans will be happy to not that Stephen's debut solo effort is nothing more than the Pavement sound packaged under another name.

As this goes to press a the debut single has not been decided although it could only ever be a 3 horse race between "Phantasies", "Jenny And The Ess-Dog" and "Jo Jo's Jacket". Its hard to choose between the 3 - each featuring the trademark 6th form lyrics over a tune alternative enough to please the hard-core and poppy enough to please the teen Travis / Coldplay contingent. He really does walk a perilous line between the naff and the charming.

Only "Church On White" and "Trojan Curfew" go somewhat to moving the listener and here lies an inherent problem with much of today's indie scene - everything is just so passable. You can never really get passionate about a band enough to hate them or love them. Everyone is just OK and its an overspill from the post-Britpop scene of Cast and Menswear. Their are so many lo-fi groups like Hefner and of course we have Manchester's Twisted Nerve label - is there really any need for the likes of Stephen Malkmus anymore? Well, everyone moves on and unless he takes that very advice he may just find the rest of the world has stopped listening.

Its an album that never raises the ante or changes that tired old formula. As it said on your school report - "Must try harder and not rely on past glories".

Alex McCann