The Charlatans

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 September, 2010, 12:00am

The Charlatans
Who We Touch
(Cooking Vinyl)

At the start of their career, The Charlatans were the tipsters' picks to be the first of the baggy-pants bands to fall into obscurity.

Fast-forward 22 years and the perennial survivors have outlived their 1990s Madchester peers, ridden the Britpop wave without flailing, and overcome prison sentences and the death of founding member/keyboardist Rob Collins.

The Charlatans endure, and on the evidence of their 11th studio album Who We Touch, are still enjoying the ride.

Produced by Youth (Paul McCartney, The Verve) and on the same desk that recorded New Order's Blue Monday, the album snarls instantly into action with the Joy Division-esque debut single Love is Ending.

Other highlights include the sun-soaked 60s nostalgia of My Foolish Pride, the lifting Intimacy and Oh!'s tempo-challenging prog territory.

More soulful and epic than past efforts, Who We Touch is deliciously out of step with current trends, and is all the more arresting for it. Tim Burgess and Co shimmer with a youthful vigour that belies their veteran status, and the smart money is on them being around for a good few years yet.