The spirit of Brian Wilson looms large over this debut effort from Idiot Glee, the one-man band of Kentucky crooner James Friley. Paddywhack unfolds in a hazy storm of Casio keys, layered vocals and lo-fi rumblings, its songs basking in the glowering all-Americanisms of the Beach Boys’ sun-kissed sound. While it never quite delivers the sort of good vibrations it aspires to, it marks Friley out as an artist full of Technicolor pop promise.

It might be the crackle and spark of ‘Let’s Go Down Together’ getting the blogosphere worked up but Idiot Glee is at his most intriguing on the slower, slovenly-paced cuts. ‘Don’t Go Out Tonight’ sounds like a surf rock 7” stuck on the wrong rpm, glazed over with glassy vocal arrangements and echoes of glockenspiel. The drum machine punch propelling the likes of ‘FOE’ and Tarantino-score baiting ‘Trouble At The Dancehall’ entertain, but struggle to thrill.

If the ocular animal at the heart of Wilson’s seminal Pet Sounds were a playful and marauding panther, Paddywhack’s is a tabby cat. But don’t let that put you off: there’s enough in Friley’s nostalgic throwbacks to soundtrack the impending summer months in style.

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