Davey Lane should need no introduction. In 1999, the then-18-year-old was asked to join You Am I as a second guitarist after merely being a fan who tabbed out the band’s songs for their website. After a decade with the rock legends, two albums worth of material fronting The Pictures and a stint as the guitarist for supergroup The Wrights, the only surprise here is that, at 32, Lane is only just releasing his first solo material with a debut EP, The Good Borne Of Bad Tymes.
The 5-track EP kicks off with first single You’re The Cops, I’m The Crime. It’s a jam-packed 4 minutes of anthemic rock, complete with the kind of guitar solo you’d expect from someone who knows how to handle the axe the way Lane does. It’s exactly the kind of modern, fun rock song fans want to hear from Davey Lane, but the highly polished production tends teeters on the border of overkill.
It’s the same story with the synthy, futuristic pop of Comfortably Dumb. It’s grand enough but again the over-produced feel takes away from what could have been a standout on the record. Comfortably Dumb would like to be the lovechild of The Killers and David Bowie but stumbles in its reach for greatness, weighed down by its own complexity. It’s easy to see that these songs would work well on stage, unhindered and free to breathe. The fun and comparatively simple Ronnie And My Baby may not be as smart as the other songs on the record, but it’s more raw, more stripped back and for that reason it shines.
Davey Lane isn’t afraid to take a risk here, and there’s some glorious power pop sensibilities on The Good Borne Of Bad Tymes. His cheeky swagger isn’t necessarily a bad move away from the garage rock he’s known for, producing a similar feel to Jarvis Cocker‘s excellent solo material. That said, there is a missing kick, a simplicity and clarity that could be being missed. Here’s hoping Lane streamlines his sound by the time he produces a full-length solo effort because, while displaying potential for true greatness, The Good Borne Of Bad Tymes unfortunately just manages to miss the mark.