Label: Xtra Mile Release date: (30/11/09) Website: Myspace Beans on Toast is one man and a guitar from Essex and Standing on a Chair is his debut fifty-track album containing, so I’m told, all of the songs he’s ever written. For a singer that has survived mainly from word of mouth he’s stepped up his game with the album being produced by Mumford & Son’s Ben Lovitt, and starring guest appearances from Emmy the Great. His list of famous friends doesn’t end there; he’s just got back off tour with Frank Turner, and Beans on Toast certainly shares his ‘the world’s a bit shit’ sentiment: the lyrics “We got bird flu, swine flu, foot and mouth/we’re blaming Mexicans and burning cows/where the fuck is Osama Bin laden? Why have we all forgotten about him?/the economy has gone to shit” providing a good cross section of his lyrical topics. Also covered are sex, drugs, corporations and the tyranny of the smoking ban. You know on The X Factor when Simon Cowell describes someone as a karaoke singer and even though the crowd boo and hiss and he’s being a bit of a dick, it’s obvious to everyone that he’s right? Well Beans and Toast is the X Factor contestant and I’m Simon Cowell. I’ve seen him play in at an open mike night in North London and it was good, but it really doesn’t get better than that. Songs that live are total crowd pleasers seem tired at best on CD with forty-nine others vying for attention; ‘MySpace Picture’ for example, and at his most sanctimonious ‘Binge Drinker’. With ten songs you might not realise, as he admits himself that “all the chords are the same”, but with fifty it becomes strikingly obvious. Too obvious also is the fact it’s just not enough to litter your songs with popular culture references; (so think of Peter Andre, Jordan’s tits and spastic babies”). To be any kind of political satirist, and for people to care, you actually have to say something insightful about the world. Rating: 5/10