This record is surely for those who like their music to do a specific job: to prompt...
Greg McLaren 2007-06-01
With a title like Memories And Dust, it is no surprise to find this record evokes warm evenings thinking about your past, and this record is surely for those who like their music to do a specific job: to prompt winsome reminiscences while doing the ironing. Pyke may come across the same kind of import trouble as say, Matchbox 20: in this country we seem to prefer irony over honesty and for him honesty is the core. There is nothing brilliantly surprising in the memories or the dust, and if there is torment and effort in the writing of the songs it doesn't come across. However, his songwriting is strong in concept and he creates small but full worlds in ''Middle Of The Hill'' and ''Sew My Name''. The problem is that it is a little bland at times. The acoustic sound could do with a bit more punch, it is VERY even. His harmonising is affecting but becomes washy, and rhythmically it’s the same old thing.
Actually, it’s rather annoying! Pyke is obviously good but he seems to have got locked into a particular sound and style which if he were to break out of he could be very interesting indeed. He can do pop-truth: 'Regret is like a filter that colours all of your endeavors' (''Vibrations In Air'') and break-up truth: 'I think im gonna write my name / into all the books you love so well, since you can read me good my girl' (''Sew My Name''), but he never really takes off; like a kind of uninventive Beck.
Pyke’s laziness is cemented in the fact that 30% of the material on this album has been released before, 2 years ago. If his talents run as deep as his long history suggest then he should be able to come up with some new material. Shouldn't he? Or at least try? 'I pay enough attention to the good things when I got ‘em' (''Middle Of The Hill''). Quite.