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  • Rob


Updated: Jun 15

I’m off to see Cole on Saturday at the Philharmonic in Liverpool, and I can’t effin’ wait! With the gig on my mind, it is time to do a bit of revision.

I can sing along with all the stuff from The Commotions and all the 90s releases but I need to gen up on some of the tracks on ‘Guesswork’ his latest release ‘On Pain’ and this, ‘Standards’.

Originally released in 2013 it was part funded through fan's pledges to help pay for studio costs. I remember thinking at the time that this was a novel idea and happily took a punt to help get the record released.

A few years later the record was pressed on clear vinyl and packaged in a lovely matt sleeve. I’ll be honest, it isn’t the best pressing I’ve heard but certainly not the worst either.

After releasing quieter, more introspective records before this and touring as an acoustic solo artist, Cole decided to rock out in this LP and it is so refreshing.

To achieve the rock he got a decent band together drafting in long-time collaborators Matthew Sweet on bass, Fred Maher (who worked with Lou Reed) on drums, and ex-Commotions bandmate Blair Cowan on keys. Joan Wasser (Joan As Police Woman) features too.

Also on the record is Cole’s son Will who toured with him the year before the album was released (he was just as brooding as his auld fella when we saw him in Southport, definitely a chip off the old block)

The album is a return to form for Cole, he sounds re-energised, and let off the leash after years of acoustic output. The songs bounce from rock to pop to alt-country, all filled with Cole’s usual wry lyrics.

There are a couple of songs on here that I’d forgotten about and wish I hadn’t. The cover of ‘California Earthquake’ is a real throwback to The Rattlesnakes days and ‘Blue Like Mars’ is as good as anything Cole has released in the last 20 years I reckon.

Ten years on, this record still stands up in my opinion. It is some way from Cole’s latest release with its electronica influence but sometimes it is good to rock!

If you fancy a copy it is available all over the internet for about £25.

Tracks To Try: ‘California Earthquake’, ‘Women’s Studies’, ‘Myrtle And Rose’, ‘Blue Like Mars’, ‘Opposites Day’, ‘Kids Today’.


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