Soldiers Of Fortune – Early Risers
Not to denigrate the indie rock royalty gathered here, but this supergroup impresses more convincingly by dint of the recording credits than the fruit of their endeavours. Matt Sweeney (Chavez) and Kid Millions (Oneida, Man Forever… how long have you got?) are undoubtedly phenomenal musicians, responsible for some truly killer records – it's nice to hear 'em having fun on the Stephen Malkmus-led Campus Swagger and the surging drone-punk of Nails. Still, 'fun' often depends on which side of the microphone you’re sat.
Soldiers Of Fortune are essentially a jam band: regardless of the talent, energy or CVs of those involved (including guests like Cass McCombs and Comets On Fire’s Ethan Miller), too many tracks devolve into predictable bar-band blues with little payoff. It’s not a sign of diminishing powers, of course; just some laffs between pals, better served in the practice room than etched into a slab o’wax. [Will Fitzpatrick]