Looper The Snare

The third lo-fi electronica concept album from Stuart David and company, The Snare showcases more of the former Belle and Sebastian bassist's spoken word (or rather mumbled word) poetic meanderings and sparse atmospheric beats and keyboards, and it doesn't vary much from that formula. Apparently a companion piece to David's second novel, The Peacock Manifesto, perhaps its point would come more clearly to light when studied in-depth as a simultaneous musical accompaniment to the book. Yet as an isolated album it comes across as little more than sub-par art pop whose tunes are monotonous and whose lyrics are obtuse. Here, the warped stories of Peacock characters Evil Bob and Peacock Johnson are dark and cinematic, far removed from David's past twee associations. Sometimes Looper's unique style works best in small doses and when contrasted with very different sounds (as was the case with standout "Spaceboy Dream," on The Boy With the Arab Strap), not as a long song cycle with little variation. Admittedly it's an interesting concept, but not one you'd like to swallow daily, or weekly, for that matter. (Mute)