Gaz Coombes: World’s Strongest Man review – from Supergrass to super solo artist

Fri, May 4, 2018, 05:00


World's Strongest Man

Gaz Coombes

Hot Fruit/Caroline International


Eight years after they called it a day, Supergrass’s dominance of the more psychedelic, cerebral nook of the Britpop era seems a long way away – and it’ll seem even farther once you’ve heard Gaz Coombes’s third solo album.

The Oxford man with the most famous sideburns in indie music has already explored the outer reaches of rock with 2012’s likeable Here Come the Bombs and came into his own as a solo artist with 2015’s superb Matador. This collection picks up where that album left off, with similar krautrock influences audible on the motorik beat of Deep Pockets and The Oaks, and experiments with synths, angular guitar riffs and dreamy, electronic burbles scattered throughout.

The tremulous shimmer of strings on standout Shit (I’ve Done It Again) is a highlight, while elegiac piano-led track Slow Motion Life is as unexpected as the louche, 1970s strut of Walk the Walk.

Aside from the brief punky blast of Vanishing Act, it’s not the indie rock album that casual fans may expect – but then again, Coombes is clearly not the same musician that he once was. His onward march toward progress can’t be faulted.