This is a startling debut album, from a band who promise to produce more excellent and distinguished works. It is clear that this album is something of an experiment, as much of the album wavers between pop-rock, and something unseen before - poetry set to music, but with the unseen hand of Guernica wavering in the background. The opening track '... of lights' takes some time to get going, building the listener up into something of a frenzy of anticipation, only to let them down by not giving the implied rock, but instead a cutting and erudite vision of post-modern London: 'In a cafe over coffee, he remembers Rachel, and how her wrists were like china. While in some warehouse across the river, her daughter's raped, to canon in D minor'. Possibly, the band back away somewhat from this harsh incision, pleading for the world to be nicer, but throughout the album, there are substantial glimses of their shrewd insights, and their vicious black humour. Less pop-rock than Travis (possibly some similarities to parts of 'Good Feeling'), the band's most effective moments are in the calm, pensive tracks, such as 'I didn't mean in Marie' and 'Hope is a liar'. With titles reminiscent of 'The Smiths', one might expect pure self-hated, but there is much that endears an audience to Jack through this album, especially with the wit and wisdom of tracks like the bouncy 'Biography of a first son'. Ultimately, the album is not as polished as 'The Jazz age', their second, but has much of the beauty of its successor, and certainly has much to recommend it.