What makes this blip pop so maddening is the suspicion that it conceals real talent.
Jaime Gill 2008
In 2002 a young Birmingham native called Mike Skinner sat in his bedroom and pulled together one of the first masterpieces of the new millennium, Original Pirate Material, armed with little more than a laptop, soft drugs and a few friends. Maybe Skinner made it look too easy, because the six years since have seen hordes of similar young men try to pull off the same bedroom pop trick and falling short.
Hugh Frost (AKA the brilliantly named Sportsday Megaphone) must be added to that list. If So Many Colours/ So Little Time is a better record than most tin-eared, wood-brained Streets copyists have managed, it's because Frost is aware that merely bellowing brand names does not make you an everyman poet, displaying a redeeming sensitivity and playful love of language throughout. He also has a different sound, though unfortunately that sound – a torrent of arcade machine bleeps and estuary yelps – is so cartoonish it tramples anything subtle underfoot.
Unlike the similar Hadouken!, what makes this blip pop so maddening is the suspicion that it conceals real talent. Beneath the Nintendo noise, Meet Me In The Middle has crisp, jabbing synths worthy of the Pet Shop Boys in their imperial phase, as well as the brilliant line, ''Like a barber shop sign/ I go up and down, no, I go round and round/ I change all the time''. Better still are LA, with its addictive synth riff and grimy aggression, and the scratchy-guitared, melancholic Black Plastic.
But these are the rare songs which sound fully developed and more commonly Frost resorts to cheap, nasty Casiotronica. On the hyperactive Carrying The Years, Frost invites vocalist Rebekka Rae to the party but neither bring a tune, while Yo Yo Loveboats! feels and sounds like spending hours stuck on the same frustrating level of Sonic The Hedgehog while a teenage gang riots next door. A small percentage of the population may think that sounds incredible; the rest of us should approach So Many Colours/ So Little Time with caution.