Billy Holmes A Magic Wombat

A Magic Wombat is a surprise because it doesn’t look like it’s going to be very good. The cover art is cute but not particularly impressive and the whole package screams "low budget” until you give it a listen. That’s when it becomes apparent that Billy Holmes’s real strength lies with his music. As part of the Deviance, Holmes is involved in creating prog-rock based on literary works such as The Lord Of The Flies but thankfully, his solo work is more thoughtful and introspective. There’s complexity to most of the songs, with Nick Drake-like acoustic guitars nestled between piano and drums, creating very atmospheric songs that tend to tread water rather than go anywhere but they do this very nicely. Despite using some interesting changes in tempo mid-song, several tracks hang around after they wear out their welcome, and the whole album blends together somewhat. However, A Magic Wombat still wins points for showing that you really can’t judge a book by its cover. (Put On Your Drinking Cap)