What an exciting prospect The Open seem to be. They cite Talk Talk and the Cocteau Twins as inspirations for their epic rock sound and they are produced by none other than ex-Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde. How can they fail? But before the awards are handed out for Best Newcomer, it's probably best to evaluate 'The Silent Hours' on its own merits. The influences are certainly there; the group have established a huge, widescreen rock sound but it crumbles under the weight of its forebearers with the final product coming across as a less mature, overproduced version of Doves. They reach their depths on the middle section of the album where lumbering giants 'Daybreak', 'Just Want To Live' and 'Step Into The Light' are caught in dull rock posturing that might work in a live environment but here they seem like Puressence songs without the hooks. On most other songs there are at least moments of promise: the searing guitar chords of 'Bring Me Down', an unusually lilting chorus on 'Forgotten' whereas 'Coming Down' and 'Elevation' shine for toning down the dynamics and concentrating on melodies, for once presenting satisfying and complete songs. That apart, it's always worth remembering that a band with a great record collection doesn't necessary equal a great album.