Even within the admittedly limited canon of semi-improvised genre-hopping side-project albums, the third from About Group (Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, Spiritualized’s John Coxon, This Heat’s Charles Hayward and free-jazz big-swinging-dick Pat Thomas) is a decidedly odd affair. It would be a catastrophic one, too, were it not for ‘All Is Not Lost’ – a squelching swagger of a song and the rightful heir to Ginuwine’s ’90s sleaze classic ‘Pony’ – and a couple of other ear-catching curios.

If you’ve ever wondered how Alexis Taylor would tackle a bluesy, freewheelin’ cover of ‘Walk On By’, for example, you’ve come to the right place. Surrounding these though is the very worst kind of plinky-plonky, aimless “jazz” and a handful of half-finished Taylor songs that carry none of the confidence improv demands. About Group, then: crazy name, crazy band, infrequently brilliant and maddening for it.

More from