Release Date: Out Now Label: Southern Fried Link: http://www.thebrightonportauthority.com The Brighton Port Authority, dreadful name for a musical collective isn’t it? It’s like calling yourselves The Sewing Machine or the Brotherhood of Enterprising Train Spotters. Oh, Norman Cook’s involved in this is he? The very same guy who in the early nineties went under the dubious name of Pizzaman. It was around the early nineties when I first came across the Pizzaman, on some daggy dance compilation which also featured a remix of Whigfield’s ‘Saturday Night’.  Little did I know that Pizzaman would fall into some radioactive goo and morph into superstar DJ Fatboy Slim. Cook continued to exist behind a character, compared to most DJ’s of that time, who embraced their celebrity status, he remained mostly in the background. You see Cook’s been in the music business for a long time, check out this early video documentary of The Housemartins which features a young Norman Cook on the decks. It’s a hint of better days to come, not that being bassist of The Housemartins was a bad thing. But evidently Cook always had bigger fish to fry. So post-Housemartins he formed Beats International who are perhaps best known for dance floor classic ‘Dub Be Good To Me’. I suppose in a sense the seeds of The BPA were sown, with Cook working with a revolving lineup of musicians. In the late nineties under the guise of Fatboy Slim Cook made good use of the Music Video format. ‘Weapon of Choice’ had Christopher Walken dancing around cool as fuck. The Spike Jonze directed ‘Praise You’ featured another choreographed master class from the fictional Torrance Community Dance Group. Propelling The BPA into the public consciousness last year Cook once again used the video format as a launch pad for the music, turning the debut BPA single ‘Toe Jam’ into a YouTube worthy piece showcasing nude dancers that flaunted a clever use of censor bars. The BPA’s debut is just another example of Cook using his past in order to attempt to create something new. With it’s Jaws referencing title  I Think We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat works along the similar lines to Dan the Automator and Prince Paul’s Handsome Boy Modeling School and Mark Ronson Presents: Sycophants and Bastards, where DJ’s invite a few buddies, one or two idols (usually up for doing anything to beef up their pension fund) and to appeal to the kids, a couple of ‘happening’ artists to basically spend an afternoon messing around in their home studio. There is a rather long winded fictional back story behind The British Port Authority. Basically we have to suspend our disbelief and pretend I Think We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat is a collection of tracks recently discovered in a Brighton Warehouse that date back to the 70’s, an album which is as pivotal of great lost records such as Smile or “Sly Stone's long lost Panther Funk sessions with the MC5”. This elaborate ruse attempts to add some mystique to what is a rather pedestrian collection of songs. Opening with that scraggy looking topless bloke from the Car Insurance Adverts - Iggy Pop, who lends his voice to ‘He's Frank (Slight Return)’, a cover of The Monochrome Set’s 1978 classic, the song  gets things off to an inconspicuous start. This version of Iggy Pop is a far cry from the glory years of slicing his chest with a broken peanut butter jar or appearing in Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Never mind the question of whether Pop has sold out, old father time is finally having his way. Pop's vocals sound even more laconic then on the original. ‘Dirty Sheets’ featuring Pete York (a buddy of Cook’s) best known for his work in the band Jonny Quality (Who?) is a tawdry affair. ‘Jumps The Fence’ wobbles along like ‘Weapon of Choice’ with the grating New Zealand accent of Connan Hosford.  Annoyingly she repeats “Jump’s the fence like a toad” over and over, for what reason I’m not sure. ‘Should I stay or should I blow’ unitizes a similar Ska bop to Pato Banton’s ‘Baby Come Back’ though let down by the vocal flatness of house specialist Ashley Beedle. That’s house music; he’s not one of those property show presenters, though this song is comparable torture to watching a 24 hour marathon of Property Ladder. ‘Island’ enters into the atmospherics of Sinéad O'Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U ‘before disappearing into William Orbit-esque blandness featuring another DJ Pal of Cook’s Justin Robertson. Jamie T’s introductory bass line is looped throughout ‘Local Town’ which also features a smattering of Clash like guitars, after the opening burst of bass he opens his mouth and delivers his usual autistic Dickensian gutter mutterings. ‘Seattle’ provides some delicate melodic slush from Emmy the Great, it's nice enough, though the song feels completely out of place on the album. ‘Spade’ is Martha Wainwright meets rock steady; it’s the best song on I Think We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat mainly because it captures what I think is the intention of The BPA, that is getting an artist to work outside their comfort zone by pretending they’re from the past. ‘Superman’ features another long time collaborator of Cook’s Simon Thornton, it’s has a nineties easy listening feel. You know Lighthouse family / M People territory, a trait which also possesses ‘Superlover’. ‘Toe Jam’ where David Byrne does what David Byrne does best, with some delightfully surreal lyrics. “A boy looks at a girl and a girl looks like a pony / she gallops all day long / in between my toes”. Then Dizzee Rascal drops a rhyme, which is essential rent a Dizzee phoned in effort. ‘So It Goes’ is a unique laid back cover of Nick Lowe’s pub rock anthem from forgotten masterpiece Jesus of Cool. The cover features the vocal talents of Olly Hite, an unsigned singer songwriter. Having taken a look at who he is (naturally through his MySpace page), his sound appears to be a cross between James Blunt and Keane. Something your Mother will like. I Think We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat is dire. The beats feel dated, and disappointingly there is no progress from Fatboy Slim’s late nineties salad days. A vast majority of the guests bring nothing to the table, it feels as though Norman Cook has contacted people and they’ve politely made time for him out of their busy schedules. The back story completely hinders the album, why didn’t Cook use seventies recording techniques to greater effect? Actually, sod the back story, why didn’t Cook collaborate only with Calvin Harris and title this release Acceptable in the 90s? Rating: 3/10