Don Vail Don Vail

Don Vail are the new band for the former members of Chore, along with one of Treble Charger's leftovers, and while it took them four years to get to the point of releasing their debut, not that much has changed during that time. Their self-titled debut features ten songs that have the proggier elements from Chore but add the poppier sensibilities of Treble Charger, and the result is just what anyone might expect. Like many of the bands they were involved with previously, Don Vail are better in theory than in practise. It might be hard to pin down exactly what it is that prevents their debut from being greater than the sum of its parts but there is too much familiarity in the music they are making and by the end, there's a sense of having heard it all before ten years ago. Their collective experience ensures the songs are nicely polished and the production of ex-Blinker The Star head Jordon Zadorozny is sympathetic to the band's sound, but it is hard to get terribly excited about something that, at the end of the day, is really rather ordinary. (Independent)