This is Tim Presley’s first solo record since he spent time recording and touring with Cate Le Bon under the moniker Drinks, and clearly it’s softened him up to the idea of further collaboration. Opting to release this record under his own name rather than the White Fence moniker, he effectively put together a studio team to record ‘The Wink’. Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa is behind the kit and Le Bon returns as producer, whilst engineer Samur Khouja also played a key role. Not that it’s necessarily fleshed Presley’s sound out all that much; his scratchy guitar work and lilting vocals remain very much at the forefront on an album that only ever really flirts with experimentation. When it tilts in that direction, the results are compelling – the rock and roll weirdness of ‘Solitude Cola’ and the menacing, spoken word ‘ER’ being cases in point – but they’re bogged down by too much meandering elsewhere. ‘Kerouac’ wanders as aimlessly as the man it’s named after, whilst the avant-garde ‘Long Bow’ irritates rather than excites, rendering ‘The Wink’ a missed opportunity.
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