Label: Wool Recordings/Ungawa Release date: 15/03/10 Website: Official Website Three of Luther Russell's big influences - Buddy Holly, The Beatles and Bob Dylan – all have something in common which has, rightfully, made them music heroes. This similarity is not their brotherhood in the letter B, but that each of these artists managed to both seize upon and define the zeitgeist of their particular era. It is an enviable ability that, based on The Motorbike EP, Luther just doesn't share. Everything on the EP is taken from Russell’s fifth and forthcoming solo album, ‘The Invisible Audience’, starting with the title track, 'Motorbike'. This is a song about taking a ride on your motorbike when you're feeling down, a means of emotional escape so trite that it was utilised by a character on Neighbours recently. But, for a song about the liberating feeling of roaring away from your problems, there is very little excitement here. Instead, the track limps along, picking up some less than mind-opening psychedelia via Revolver along the way. Yet, as banal as 'Motorbike' may be, the real low point for the EP comes with 'Tomorrow's Papers'. Luther has been releasing records since 1991, at first with his band The Freewheelers, and this song bears the mark of that legacy. It is a reminder of happy-go-lucky nineties pop that is sure to lock some painful tension away in your back muscles. As far as lyrics are concerned, Russell is certainly no poet. He plunders a prosaic coffer of imagery such as being "baptised by the flame" and seems to have chosen a number of his lyrics purely because they rhyme. Take for instance, "You better make a sound, you better muck around and once your skin has browned and you've been crowned, you'll be renowned'. Hardly the lyrical brilliance of a song like 'Desolation Row'. On a technical level though, Luther is clearly talented. As the Brooklyn-based musician points out himself, 'most [of the] instruments [are] played by yours truly'. The selection on offer includes banjo, piano and sitar as well as guitar, so it's a very impressive claim. What's more, it would be unfair to junk the entire EP. 'A World Unknown' kicks out the blues with energy and enthusiasm whilst the best track of all, 'Somehow or Another', is a melancholic, nicely paced song that smacks of Dylan. On top of this, two brief near-instrumental interludes provide a couple of sweet moments, even if they are tarnished by Russell's la-laing vocals. Though not a total washout, a lot of The Motorbike EP seems tired and even the best points owe more than a little thanks to the legends of the past. If you're desperately searching for 2010's answer to Lennon, Holly or Dylan, I'm afraid you're going to have to keep looking. Photobucket Blast from the past or simply just past? Sound off in our Fourum!