The Pace of the Passing is a first step for Ed Nash that doesn't completely work but shows the potential for something really special.
Toothless is the project of Ed Nash, bassist for Bombay Bicycle Club, and the sound of his debut album The Pace of the Passing is not a million miles away from that of the largely-sunny indie pop of his other band's most recent album So Long, See You Tomorrow. Rather than songs that evolve and build over the course of their running time, however, Nash prefers to settle into a groove and ride it. Sometimes it's an approach that works, as on the effervescent "Party of Two", where harmonies from Liz Lawrence drive home the sunglasses-on-the-beach vibe, and on "Sisyphus", which drives relentlessly forward on a major key and simple guitar melodies like a song by the Cure played at double speed. Sometimes it doesn't work, as on "Alright Alright Alright" which searches desperately for a catchy melody without ever finding it, and on "The Midas Touch", whose lyrics try to lend weight to clumsy couplets like "Have you ever done a thing for free / If you had the opportunity." The hits and the misses even out by the end. The Pace of the Passing is fine. It's the sound of an artist getting his feet under him, a first step for Nash that doesn't completely work but shows the potential for something really special.