Label: This Is Fake DIY Release date: 26/04/10 Link: Official Website Global warming and recession be damned! The Lodger have real problems. Flashbacks, the third album from the Leeds quartet deals with break-ups and the ensuing awkwardness, doing so in excruciatingly unambiguous detail. At one point, lead singer Ben Siddall requests the keys for his flat from a former lover and it is an incredibly tense wait as you wonder if the next verse will deal with the dividing up of a CD collection. The rest of the album is similarly bleak. It could work as the soundtrack to sitting in a dentist's waiting office, watching paint peeling off the walls. Of course, there is nothing wrong with writing songs that people can relate to, but this is a path trodden so flat you could build houses on it. It is still possible to write about these things in new and insightful ways but this album is practically straining under the weight of tired lyrical clichés. There is nothing on Flashbacks that even the most casual of music fans have not heard before. As storytellers they are not going to be compared to James Joyce but it would be wrong to write off Flashbacks completely because of this. Musically, the band sound quite similar to The Lightning Seeds and play bright guitar-pop that is augmented by brass parts that at times give an impression of third wave ska. This is when The Lodger are at their best. Even if the subject matter is mundane, the energetic music makes it bearable. But this a formula that is used sparingly on the album and it is a shame that too often songs are unremarkable, even after repeated listens. There are still good songs on this album, addictive opening track 'Back of My Mind', is lamentably unrepresentative of the rest of the album, 'Have A Little Faith In People' demonstrates the band doing what they do best and 'Lost' shows that the band can write slow songs and still be interesting. Trouble is, they do not do it often enough and the bad here far outweighs the good. Photobucket