The Lodger Flashbacks

Even after almost 25 years, the spirit of the C86 scene is very much alive, well and thriving thanks to the likes of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. That has helped get recognition for the other bands lurking in the background, such as their Slumberland label mate the Lodger (aka Ben Siddall), whose first two albums have done a wonderful job celebrating the scene they're right in the middle of. On Flashbacks, Siddall avoids falling into the trap where album number three is simply album number one for the third time. Not that he isn't staying true to his indie pop roots, and there is a certain amount of recycling of ideas, but it's definitely a step in a different direction. At its most basic, and predictable, Flashbacks is all about upbeat pop songs that are reminiscent of the Housemartins and the entire Postcard Records roster. But when Siddall steps outside his comfort zone, like on the glam rock stomp of "Stand Up!" or the brass-heavy wooziness of the title track, it gets a lot more appealing. With a bit more ambition, the Lodger's next visit could be his most interesting. (Slumberland)