Linus present a jazz tinged singer-songwriter compilation of songs by Chris Holliday, Chris Simmonds and Lee Johnson. They remind me of ancient Tim Buckley, but don't reach the depths or match the subtlety of those sixties experiments in the gaps between folk, pop and jazz.
It is a very uneven CD with strong individual elements that sometimes blend and often compete. The songs are deftly put together, but I don't hear any particular passion or purpose to them. Each one seems to be a vehicle for the instrumentalists to lean black and groove along in a self-assured improvising spirit.
It has been very difficult to listen to all eight songs at a sitting. I've been regularly interrupted by my own irritation at some of the lyrics. And the musicians in the house have come in groaning at this or that cliché.
Percussion by Jez Smith is tricksy and sometimes intrusive - it's technically very proficient but it's much cleverer than the songs and ends up like a go-fast spoiler on a comfortably sluggish family saloon. Guitar includes wah wah and flanged lead twiddling with effective strumming on rhythm. Ben Holliday's voice is individual, but not always true to pitch. The bass inclines towards solo playing with extra grace notes, and doesn't always fill that crucial bottom slot in the harmony.
The whole package is uncertain of itself. The crunching self deprecation of the title is too close to the truth, and one track (with especially awful words) is listed simply as ?