Following last year’s Wolf Parade, Mister Heavenly is another SubPop-endorsed ‘supergroup’ comprised of various members of little-known American indie groups (and Modest Mouse) who all hang out together anyway. Oh, and they’ve got a celeb indie actor on bass in the form of rent-an-awkward/adorable-teenager Michael Cera (presumably Jesse Eisenburg was busy). Indeed, the hiring of Scott Pilgrim to Mister Heavenly outlines the ambition on display here: as supergroups go, this is hardly Them Crooked Vultures.

Instead, ‘Out Of Love’ feels more like a side project rather than any grand meeting of minds: most of the songs come over like the combined individual scraps indelicately stitched together in between breaks to trade in-jokes. Aside from the red-blooded opening pair – the crunch of ‘Bronx Sniper’ and the rockabilly tinged ‘I Am a Hologram’ – and the lush, poignant doo-wop of ‘Wise Men’, everything is pretty forgettable. Forgettable, that is, except for ‘Reggae Pie’, whose embarrassingly stiff-backed attempt at a Caribbean skank is a car crash of a recording.

The album’s centrepiece and over twice the length of any other song on the LP, complete with false endings and awkward Jamaican accents, it stands out not just for being different but also because it’s absolutely and cringingly terrible. It blights ‘Out Of Love’, an otherwise innocuous album with a few decent songs, in an almost irrecoverable way, and just reinforces the feeling that these guys should really stick to their day jobs.

By Sam Walton

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