Nick J.D. Hodgson

Nick J. D. Hodgson – Tell Your Friends (Prediction Records)

Though I’m willing – but not that interested – to be proved otherwise, I’m unsure whether many similar test cases exist in 2018 of victors of the blazers, school ties and expensive naff scruffy cringe of 2004-2008 indie who willingly fell off the truck long ago going solo. Enter erstwhile Kaiser Chief Nick Hodgson – now styled as Nick J.D Hodgson, don’t you know – with Tell Your Friends.

Although unpalatable in theory, Kaiser Chiefs had a decent run of songs during their purple patch – listening to stuff like ‘Oh My God‘, ‘Everyday I Love you Less and Less‘, ‘Everything is Average Nowadays‘, ‘Heat Dies Down‘ and ‘Never Miss a Beat‘ – SPARINGLY – isn’t too bad an experience. Nick Hodgson was apparently the band’s driving songwriter during these highs, a an idea disputed by the other Helmets – I mean, Chiefs. It’s a sheer coincidence that the quality of the – albeit, not to my taste – music divebombed and deflated around the time Hodgson called it quits. Kaiser Chiefs in 2018 now resemble a newly skinny-fat divorced dad in a greying Liam Gallagher haircut and trendy, striped French prisoner t-shirt.

That said, Tell Your Friends is some fairly uneventful, sanguine stuff; alternating between by-numbers and understated wind-in-your-hair 70s folk rock, woozy Byrds-like jangle and and bursts of boogie woogie Northern Soul. A lot of the album’s dignified, older-indie-gent-MOR is reminiscent of Beck‘s Sea Change. However, while that album dealt with the issues of break-up and heartbreak, many of Tell Your Friends‘s songs are evidently love songs. Think Kaiser Chiefs songs being performed at 0.75x playback speed under heavy sedation.

Honest Face‘ – where Hodgson enthuses and breathes a sigh of relief over the fact his beau has trustworthy facial features (decent move – you can’t trust these jezzies nowadays), ‘Suitable‘ – a string-lead anthem not unlike prime Embrace and the low-fi Scouting For Girls / The Feeling rearrangement ‘Tomorrow I Love You‘ serve as charming but ultimately antiseptic dad rock.

It’s not a bad album, just fair low-stakes stuff. Hodgson can be happy in the world he’s created in Tell Your Friends. It’s unlikely to whip up much of a strorm, but he still retains more dignity than Ricky Wilson et al long after the world has moved on.

Tell Your Friends is out now on Prediction Records.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.