This is a review of "The Columbian Cold EP" recorded by Bifta Smoking Eskimos. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2003.
We now have a scoop the NME would love to get their hands on, Richard Ashcroft formerly of The Verve and currently enjoying a bafflingly successful solo career has sneaked over to Huddersfield and recorded an EP in secret, working under the name Bifta Smoking Eskimos. Hell, he's even nicked some of his own melodies and guitar parts from those Verve songs that made them so recognisable!
Ok so it isn't really true but BSE are doing one hell of an impersonation job, which is a shame, because these four songs are soaked in soul and heart felt guitar work which gives them enough to stand on their own with out the Ashcroft impressions. The two main highlights come in opener "One Good Blizzard" which cutely feels like you are joining it halfway through and the acoustic "Cold Streets" which recounts the distant feeling of too much excess in Amsterdam. Closer "Get 'in high" echoes about until it unexpectedly thumps you in the stomach with one hell of guitar riff!
This is well played, sung, written and produced. The band want it and want you to want it, but those Verve comparisons won't go away and with peoples tendency to pigeon hole, they are in danger of haunting what is in fact a very decent offering.