Welcome to the new age of beige. Bastille, a solo project turned band from Londoner Dan Smith, are the latest in a long line of polite electronic pop acts currently clogging up the charts and radio like bath scum. Smith is a bedroom laptop noodler with delusions of grandeur; Pompeii, which does indeed use the volcanic destruction of 79AD as a metaphor for a relationship, sounds not unlike a cross between an aftershave ad from (19)79AD and the music a Polynesian airline might use after a successful landing. Smith's portenous overuse of tribal drums sound plain wrong as they thunder over rinky-dinky synths and his deeply-affected vocals - a faintly disturbing mangle of elongated vowels and the posh diction of a teacher’s pet at double elocution in a Wiltshire village. Things We Lost in the Fire wibbles on for ages and says absolutely nothing while the fact that These Streets might struggle to be recognised as an actual song would be ok if it weren't for its utter lack of a melody (it does, however, have the worst drum fill I have ever heard in my life). By the time you reach Icarus and the remarkable lyric “Icarus is flying towards an early grave” you may be hugging your legs to your chin and rocking back and forth in sheer disbelief.

Bastille? More like bouncy castle.

Alan Corr