Beans on Toast – Knee Deep in Nostalgia

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson

It soon becomes pretty obvious as to why Beans on Toast chooses to release Knee Deep in Nostalgia and The Unforeseeable Future separately, as the two simultaneously released albums bear little resemblance to one another.  The Frank Turner-produced Knee Deep in Nostalgia reveals a bunch of heartfelt songs with an eye firmly on the past, while The Unforeseeable Future is pretty much a good old strum-along whinge ala Billy Bragg, of hating the Tories, down with this, down with that, with no apparent offer of any solutions and obviously preaching to the choir.  Knee Deep in Nostalgia however, has something to savor, songs like the country inflected “What Would Willie Do?” for instance, which turns our attention to the original outlaw (oops, that’s just a bit of lazy journalism right there), or perhaps more specifically, simply the desire to live the Willie Nelson lifestyle.  A favourite drama teacher receives similar praise, as Beans recalls his schooldays, while at the same time, reflecting on families in “Family Tree” and dancing to all those classic records such as The White Album, Graceland, Closing Time and Blonde on Blonde, on “The Album of the Day”, although imagining anyone dancing to “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” is a bit of a stretch.  Joining Beans on the positive uplifting album are Frank Turner, Matt Hensley, Matt Nasir, Guise and Anna Jenkins, whereas the second album is completely solo.