Talk of Pavement’s isolated return has coincided remarkably well with co-founder Scott Kannberg’s, aka Spiral Stairs’, proper full-length debut. And while this offering probably won’t debunk any long-harboured hopes of a full reformation, ‘The Real Feel’ is more than just a stop gap before any potential main event. It’s an album that’s far removed from Pavement’s ramshackle world – and from that of Preston School of Industry – and showcases Kannberg’s diversity. Opener ‘True Love’ stomps and rocks with clarity and purpose whereas ‘Call the Ceasefire’, a languid slow burner of a track, could melancholically wail out across the prairies. Surprisingly, from the Californian, there’s a lazy, pervading porch feel with ‘Subiaco Shuffle’ getting Kannberg mean and wistful, barking and prowling over a plucked bluegrass beat. It’s not Pavement, but what did you expect? Next you’ll be telling me plaid’s made a comeback.

By Nathan Westley

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