Back in 1995, a drug-addled Antony Genn ran naked on to a Glastonbury stage, much to the horror of Elastica who were performing at the time. That was twelve years ago and it's fair to say that Genn has produced - to paraphrase one of his lyrics - not quite "the greatest comeback since Lazarus" but it's certainly an admirable proof of a talent which could have gone to waste. Far from it, for together with Martin Slattery, The Hours' debut should prove to be one of the most significant albums of the year.
There's a strong sense of urgency about 'Narcissus Road' which suggests that no more time should be wasted. Musically, it marries the grand gestures and bruised euphoria of Doves with passionate, often simplistic lyrics that could be sung at sports stadia. These words can occasionally seem laughable (opener 'Ali In The Jungle' features the line "...Ludwig Van how I love that man. Well the guy went deaf and didn't give a fuck" whilst 'Love You More' chooses "I love you more than my football team - I love you more than my Adidas trainers") were it not for the total convinction and songwriting skills of the duo.
Their songs are very good too. Frequently revolving around some lovely piano melodies from Slattery; 'Icarus', 'Let Me Breathe' and 'Murder Or Suicide?' are beautiful, emotional songs whilst the aforementioned 'Ali In The Jungle' and 'Love You More' are genuinely anthemic. Granted, there a couple of tracks which don't quite convince - the generic ballad 'I Miss You', 'People Say' is clumsy and OTT - but overall it's a confident, well-produced record that should see Genn and Slattery receive a lot of airplay over the coming months. At the very least, Genn should be receiving the headlines for the right reasons now.