ALBUM REVIEW: Scott Lavene – Broke (Funnel Music)

He may not be a household name, but on the evidence of this debut album Scott Lavene might soon be.

He’s an Essex boy who makes what he calls punk ballads and gutter-pop, and for a first record Broke is very impressive indeed.

He’s cut from the same cloth as the kind of artists which Stiff Records had the knack of unearthing in the late 70s – artists like Ian Dury, Wreckless Eric and Elvis Costello.

Lavene says he was aiming for a “Serge Gainsbourg-meets-Chase & Dave” sound, “sort of like making soundtracks for films that had not been made”.

Over the course of nine tracks, he delivers a very enjoyable collection of quirky songs about the minutae of 21st century life and its challenges.

Essex singer Scott Lavene makes music which he calls’punk ballads and gutter-pop’.

The laid-back My Stereo, which opens the album, is a paean to his dislike of small talk, while Apples And Pears is a slighty bonkers slice of weird pop ruminating on the reasons for being single.

Modern World is his cynical take on modern life: “I don’t care for the modern world, digital invitations to a party full of arseholes taking photos of each other’s pouty faces” and yearning for a simpler existence away from the rat race – while missing the sins of living in the city.

Light Of The Moon is about losing yourself in drugs to get through the boredom of working in a dead-end factory job, while dreaming of a better life.

The eight-minute title track Broke moves along with all the speed of an arthritic tortoise, but is the centrepiece of the album, all about being skint.

Its darkly delightful vignettes include kindly neighbour Chris bringing food and drink round and confessing that he’s thinking about murdering his mum – “that was a bit awkward” –  to how his girlfriend blew him out for a lunch date with Roland from marketing  – “who the fuck is Roland from marketing, I thought as I put the phone down?”

This is an album which I liked on first listen, and have found much more to enjoy on repeated plays. 8/10.

Gary Welford owner