GENEVA Further (Nude)
"Further" is the debut album by a Scottish guitar band that remind these ears strongly of early Suede (with whom they share a record label) and Radiohead - the sort of thing we used to call Britpop, I suppose. Despite clearly being in possession of a hefty dose of seriousness (the cover photo of a barren wintry landscape that suggests a similarity to that on hopeless sadcore act Codeines "The White Birch", song titles such as "The God Of Sleep" - come on, youre not Black Sabbath! - and "Natures Whore") theres something about Geneva that distances them from the rest of the recent pack of white boy guitar bands. Theres the odd prog tendency - the way opener "Temporary Wings" suddenly breaks into the Floyds "Astronomy Domine" - that suggests that they may be fashioning sprawling difficult works like "Dog Man Star" or "OK Computer" before too long. Sally Herbert and John Greens string arrangements add a dab of luxury to Mike Hedges production work (which itself is as bleak and drab as that cover photo, although, to be fair, probably not inappropriately so). Andrew Montgomerys soaring falsetto vocals had me thinking ex-choirboy even before I read in the NME that he was an ex-choirboy. And every now and then Geneva stumble upon a stormer of a tune - the chief delights here being "Into The Blue", "Best Regrets" and "Tranquillizer", with its haunting refrain of "Let us be happy while were still young", which suggest that, how ever much youve heard of and about Geneva thus far, one day youll be hearing a lot more. Recommended, especially if youve found recent releases by the (post-) Britpop pack a little too weird.