What do you get when you take your R.E.M. era, Paul McCartney, a good bit of Ray Davies and a wee hint of Brian Wilson? Well, it could only be Jim Noir; aka Mancunian psych-pop outlaw Alan Davies, with his shiny fourth album Finnish Line. So what’s it all about? Noir explains: “Alcohol. Life. Death. Aliens; in that order I think”.
The album opens with those classic ‘60s pop vibes and rolling riffs that have peppered Noir’s past works. ‘Strange Range’ packs a punch with slightly Kinks-esque guitar. Deeper into the record, Noir mellows out and takes us on a trip of what could be described as a homage to the Beatles after they dropped a shit tonne of acid and got all nice and trippy. ‘Honour & Moogswings’ and ‘The Boy’ are particularly reminiscent of this. Towards the end the pace slows down and ends with ‘Stone Cold Room’, a track more Lennon than Macca but with great effect.
After a two year hiatus, Noir has once again created an album that upholds classic psychedelic legacy whilst infusing it with his own vision to return with a clean and polished pop gem of laid back sounds and grooves.