#5 Album Review: Coup De Grace - Miles Kane

#5 Miles is back, big, bold, but not life threatening

Miles Kane has been a staple of indie rock's finest for the last decade, particularly brilliant alongside Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner at the front of The Last Shadow Puppets, creating one of my favourite albums ever in 2016's 'Everything You've Come To Expect'.

Kane might well be one of the best guitarist's in indie (Turner once described him as being able to 'make a guitar sing') and is one of my personal heroes vocally and with some of his songs becoming classics amongst indie rock's faithful.

In his first effort as a solo artist, Miles collaborated with Alex Turner to write timeless 60's inspired tunes such as 'Come Closer', 'Rearrange' and 'Colour Of The Trap' that are now synonymous with festivals and cans of dark fruits in hand, being sung by every kid who ever bought an Arctic's record.

The second album, 'Don't Forget You Are' was a definite step up, aided by songwriting from Paul Weller, and put Miles Kane even further into indie rock's stratosphere. But where does this third album rank? How much has it done for him this time?

Entitled 'Coup De Grace' (Rick Flair's 'final blow' wrestling move), the album is once again Kane digging up inspired corners of rock's history to put together a record that is fun-filled, rough and ready, with lots of different ideas to soak up. This time, though, Miles had a hand from Jamie T and Lana Del Rey along the way.

The opener, 'Too Little Too Late' appears to be heavily influenced from punk routes, and you can hear the clash scrawling away behind a late Jamie T record. We've kicked off. The second track 'Cry On My Guitar' perhaps provides one of the album's best moments, as a good fun bit of rock'n'roll. However upbeat these songs are, they are clearly (and openly admitted) to be written off of the back of a seemingly torturous end to a long-term relationship.

Songs such as 'Killing The Joke' seem to be the more sentimental moments on the record, however for me they sound too much like 'indie-band-does-ballad-but-they're-no-oasis' (springs to mind remnants of Kasabian's 'Goodbye Kiss', but less effective) and the brooding seems to be communicated poorly, lyrically. The same ideas appear on the chorus for 'Shavambacu', but the lyrics are much stronger on this track, and the Detective-Mystery-TV-Theme style melodies in the verses make up for anything the choruses lack. (However, 'honey, I love you' is a pretty sad way to end an album that had started with 'give me something for the guillotine')

Certain parts of the album are too trademark Miles for me, 'Cold Light of the Day' and 'Something To Rely On' stand out as that, but there are standout moments. 'Wrong Side Of Life' really shows where Jamie T brought something to this record, but delivered with Miles growling over the top of some brilliantly produced guitar, and gives us the full package we want from a Miles Kane hit. 'Loaded' also quickly becomes a classic, with it's open-minded-clench-fisted drama, lyrical quirks and 60's post-pop impressions, once again hits us hard.

But for me, the album's best moment comes from the title track, 'Coup De Grace'. It's lyrics are brooding and fanatic, but delivered in a relatively sauntering tone, a departure from Miles Kane-esque deliveries, and a true classic. The song's bassline will probably remain in my head until the next 70s. It's a perfect piece of punk-funk and probably one of Miles' best works to date.

Even with all the great moments on this album, I can't help but feel that with various songwriters leaving their mark on this album, it's a little disjointed, and trying to cram in so many influences and musical eras onto a record once again leaves Miles Kane falling well short of perfection.

Saying that, this is still a real great sing-a-long with excellent highlights. When Miles Kane does fly, he soars.

HIGHLIGHTS: Coup De Grace, Loaded, Wrong Side Of Life, Cry On My Guitar


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