If I tell you that Duncan Lloyd is the guitarist and founding member of Maximo Park (a band I love btw), then you might be expecting an album of quirky, hooky, pop-rock tunes. Well on this solo effort Duncan shows another side of his musical repertoire as 'IOUOME' (great title or not, you decide?) is rich with melody and feels at lot more gently self-reflective than his work as part of Maximo Park.

First track 'The City Weeps' reveals Duncan's tender vocal and the theme of the track reflects what Duncan has said about the album ... “these songs come from a more personal perspective, it's fair to say there's a lot of longing in them.” Two guitar – heavy tracks here 'Heart in Delay' rattles along at a great pace with guest vocalist Nicole Yun from Eternal Summers adding some fine harmonies and 'Being Frank' is probably closest to more familiar Maximo Park ground in tempo and a catchy melody.

For a musical contrast, my personnel favourite track is 'Painters' as the tender vocal accompanies a lovely melody with a floaty chorus of “Back then we were painters, back then we knew how.” There's a Blur ('Coffee and TV') type feeling about the most poppy track 'Steel Pin Raindrops' which in a lyrical contrast has a theme of kicking destructive habits.

The bare, sparse album finisher is 'Really' which again could not be further from Maximo Park but is quite lovely in its own way.

A tender album, rich in melody which surprised and delighted this Maximo Park fan.


Alisdair Whyte