Nightmares on Wax

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 October, 2008, 12:00am

Nightmares on Wax

Thought So...


The impetus for Nightmares on Wax's sixth studio album supposedly came when sole remaining member George Evelyn (below) embarked on a road trip from his old British stomping ground of Leeds to his new home in Ibiza. If so, he made quite a few interesting detours along the way.

For the group that was creating chillout in the early 90s before there was even a term for it, the 11 tracks on Thought So ... resemble a journey of sorts. On this one, the danceable euphoria of the early evening party gradually morphs into the eerie early morning, when there's nothing left but fag ends in the bottom of a champagne glass and a nameless reggae tune on the corner stereo. Overall, this release works better as background filler than music of consequence.

And as far as background music goes, it's pretty good. Opener Da Feeling, with its euphoric, escalating, clappable beat and hip hoppish 'heyyyy' refrain, is the standout. Elsewhere, various shades of reggae dominate, whether it's the straight-ahead ska of 195lbs or the skittish rhythms on Still? Yes?

Jazz-funk has its place too, especially on the aptly titled Pretty Dark and saxed up 70s era nods on Bringin' It. With the exception of chorus refrains, lyrics are sparse, leaving this potpourri of rhythms and moods to stand on their own. It's all pleasant enough, but far from the mind-blowing work of their first three outings.