Mojo Filters at Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

The Darkness. Picture by

Simon Emmett

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It is no bad thing, per se, for a band to refer so tightly to a given musical wave – after all, a good sound is a good sound.

But four-piece rock outfit The Mojo Filters offer only a tame and unoriginal reference to a genre and wave of music (dubbed Britpop and led, in the 1990s, by Oasis, Blur, Pulp).

Winners of last year’s Guide Award, TMF undoubtedly have talent, but the band seem to weigh less than the sum of their parts, as they collectively drift far too frequently (there are exceptions – Working Class Hero is an example) toward a comfortable, recognisable, mostly uninteresting sound.

Lyrically, the band is wanting. Sure, rock isn’t obliged to aspire to the rhythms and imagery of the Romantic Poets; but it ought, to steer clear of outright cliché.

Without Alex Harris’ deep, resonant vocal to crouch behind, the band’s writing would have been further exposed.

TMF have, I feel, the capacity to carve a musical career for themselves, but they’ll need, painfully no doubt, to interrogate their sound and their songwriting and decide whether, and where, there’s room for development and diversification.