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Jim Noir | Tower Of Love (My Dad Recordings)
Similar in concept to The Beta Band's '3 EPs', Jim Noir's debut long-player compiles his three sold-out singles onto a record that flows surprisingly smoothly. But whereas the defunct quartet took the likes of Jethro Tull as their classic influences, Noir looks to Brian Wilson on 'Tower Of Love'.
And thankfully the twenty-three-year-old former data entry clerk - real name Alan Roberts - is too grounded to sing about surfing, choosing instead themes literally closer to home: "If you don't give my football back I'm gonna get my dad on you," he threatens on Eanie Meany. Like Wilson, it seems Noir's childhood fuels the fire of his imagination.
As with Fonda 500 and Bitmap, it's in the harmonies that Noir really pays tribute to The Beach Boys. Barely a track goes by without the organ-heavy music being overshadowed by his layered Mancunian wheeziness. The instrumental title track is one of the few occasions but Computer Song and Key Of C include typical vocal highlights.
'Tower Of Love' rivals '3 EPs' for sheer otherworldliness in a debut, but it is Welsh mainstays Super Furry Animals that Jim Noir may hope to emulate.

Chris Horkan
April 2006