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Floatation Project - Sonic Stories

  by Jon Rogers

published: 24 / 6 / 2005

Floatation Project - Sonic Stories
Label: Viper Records
Format: CD


Patchwork debut album from The Floatation Project, the new project of ex-La's and Lightning Seeds member Paul Hemmings, which is let down an excession of influences

The Floatation Project is essentially Paul Hemmings (previously in The La's and Lightning Seeds) plus whatever Liverpool musicians happened to be around at time - Space's Tommy Scott and Robby Stevenson from The Hokum Clones. Not quite the calibre to classify it as a supergroup. 'Sonic Stories' is quite a hotch-potch of styles and influences. 'Situation Blues' could be Eno-era Roxy Music but fronted by a baritone Shane McGowan while the opening instrumental 'Into the Light''could have been lifted from any number of Stereolab albums. 'Sunshine Girl' is all hazy, summery (and bland) pop tweeness of the sickly variety and largely consists of Marina Van-Rooy simply singing the title over and over and a syrupy middle-eight. The mood changes once again though for 'Crash Test Dummies' which is swamped up to its neck in 80's euro-synth as if it had been out all night long on some particularly bad drugs and woken up wondering where it is. 'Funhouse' unfortunately isn't a cover of The Stooges' song, instead it's an ambling instrumental that lacks any sort of fun. In fact, it sounds like the most exciting thing it's done is gone a bit too high on the swings, fallen off and grazed its knee. 'Funhouse' just plods along. Ultimately, Hemmings magpie approach to 'Sonic Stories' is ultimately its downfall. He's gone along on his musical trip snatching up whatever is shining brightly at the time he's walking past. There's a bit of this, a dash of that, and, oh, that looks interesting, hey, maybe we could add that into our second song. Effectively its a patchwork quilt of an album and so not very rewarding.

Track Listing:-
1 Into the Light
2 500 Elephants
3 Passing Satellites
4 Situation Blues
5 A Song for Jay (The Twilight Zone)
6 Sunshine Girl
7 Crash Test Dummies
8 Floatation
9 The Manipulator
10 Re-Emergence
11 Funhouse
12 Spanish Lullaby

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