In what is both a great play on words and popular culture whilst also making a blunt statement about the state of the nation, Night Beats new album Who Sold My Generation ticks all the boxes with it’s title. They run a fine game though and in doing so run the risk of becoming a great looking band with a penchant for statements but no songs to back it up. Fortunately it turns out that Night Beats have songs by the bucket-load and with it, a knowing retro sheen which gives each track here a familiarity which begs you to stay. It’s the equivalent of a warm blanket yet under the surface is a band ready to create some turmoil.

Channelling some mighty fine dub mixed with a haze of marijuana smoke, Opening track ‘Celebration #1’ is a curious amalgamation of the Jamaican sound systems crossed with Primal Scream. An icy coolness envelops this in what becomes a trademark style for the whole album reaching one of many apexes on the sultry ‘Sunday Morning’ halfway through the album.

You see, it’s the sequencing that works so well here and each track has its place much like those classic albums did back in the day. Night Beats have done their homework but they also have enough nous to make that sound their own. A song like ‘Shangri Lah’ may be a complete throwback to 1966 but somehow it appears completely modern.

Horns make an appearance on the joyous ‘Bad love’ which throws a little soul into the occasion whilst still remaining resolutely street. After all, these are songs written by a band from Seattle, Washington and as such pay a close eye to heritage but also keep it real. You can almost feel the scents and smells of downtown as the drums pad out the sidewalk tap. There’s a street poetry here which owes as much to Motown as it does to Lou Reed and it’s that dichotomy and appreciation of rock and soul which makes this album come alive.

The stripped back drawl of ‘Last Train To Jordan’ offers yet further proof that if the essence of cool was a band then Night Beats would be laying a claim to it. They may falter at the last post but in doing so certainly stake their place for a little slice of rock and roll history with an album which is sheer enjoyment from start to finish. You may complain about the retro-isms but that would just be churlish and you would need to question your commitment to this thing called rock and roll. At the end of the day it’s how you present yourself and Night Beats do that without even trying to have an image. Taker the cool, run down car picture adorning the album sleeve. It speaks volumes in it’s almost grey drabness that once you open the album there is such vibrant colour. That is soul, that is rock and roll and Night Beats have plenty of it.