DJ Harvey is the man everyone wants to have play their house party. Subversive hedonist with a gurning grin, clubbing elder statesman whose very face tells of a lifetime’s euphoric excess, he’s the real-life Jeff Lebowski: the laid-back libertine bum, stoner philosopher, California personified. Wildest Dreams is Harvey’s rock-band incarnation that aspires to the same spirit he brings to his DJing – loose, spontaneous, psychedelic and sprawling – with its primary appeal being to act as a window into Harvey’s seductive lifestyle.

It’s no surprise then that ‘Wildest Dreams’ succeeds and fails based on exactly how seductive that lifestyle appears: at its best, on the soulful, swaggering ‘She Loves Me Not’, the throaty cackles, wild wakka-wakka Hammond and flailing drums make Harvey’s brand of bluesy swamp rock sound delicious. Elsewhere, however, particularly on the four separate 7-minute plus proggy instrumental outings, the excess just feels tiresome: the noodly heads-down boogying might be a blast to play, but any lingering debauchery contained within is extinguished by the meandering tedium invoked by listening to it.

And ultimately that leaves ‘Wildest Dreams’ with a problem – its creator might be the life and soul of the party, but listening to a recording of even the world’s wildest rave is nothing on being there, and ‘Wildest Dreams’’ resulting dislocation is just rather tantalising.


« Previous Album