I dunno. Some folk have a peculiar way of seeking out inspiration for their art. “I want people to imagine that feeling of rubber – it’s physical memory, the unnatural vibe to it” – so says the PR blurb accompanying the release of Rubber Oh’s debut album Strange Craft. It appears the band’s main protagonist Sam Grant – axe grinder for Newcastle’s theatrical doom-rockers Pigs x 7 – must have been spending too much time watching hipsters cutting Play-Doh with cheese wire on his Insta feed judging by the distracted focus permeating through most of the songs here.

Already constrained by a working template of only allowing single notes on the guitar and two, yes TWO! bassists (who the hell do they think they are? Ned’s Atomic Dustbin?) it seems that Grant’s vision of “intergalactic, cosmic voyages mapping out a retro futuristic trajectory” would struggle to inch off the launchpad under those conditions. And so it proves in the music.

Most of the tracks try to find synergy between elements that simply don’t fit. Rumbling bass wrestles against New Age vocoder and plodding, stripped back drums ask the psychedelic synthesiser outside for a square go. The main component missing is oomph – everything sounds light on the necessary fuel that would inject and ignite these songs for the better.

Jaunty opener Humans aims for the “more is more” rule of songwriting, spaghettifying numerous genres but sadly missing the playful weirdness of, say, a Gruff Rhys ditty whilst the giddy, lolloping Arcade can’t decide what planet it’s on. As with a lot of the fuzzy thinking on this album, Strange Craft yearns for an asteroid sized hunk of Pigs x 7 balls-out frenzy or the gravitational wave of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s kaleidoscopic cosmic chops.

Further on in the journey, we encounter Hyperdrive Fantasy with all its bleeps, bloops and bloody cowbell and, rather than witnessing an “unshakeable earworm”, we get rinsed down a wormhole to some far-flung galactic backwater where the fabric of acceptable genre mashups breaks down and the fundamentally accepted laws of decent tunes stops making sense.

Too much effort looks to have been spent on creating an incessant “interstellar” backdrop to hang the music on, you know the kind of thing – the sound of water dripping off Carl Sagan’s shower curtain – that every song starts to sound the same. The only one that bucks that trend, Nothing, actually sounds like it has a clear objective, using a stabbed piano figure to bat away all that space debris and driving forward with a grumpy, urgent bassline.

Sam Grant’s side-project needs to get back to Earth and start figuring out their next mission. His exemplary work with Pigs should be his main inspiration for this rather than weirdo ASMR influencers, otherwise the lads from Neds will have more chance of slashing a rift in the ionosphere with their dustbin than Rubber Oh’s Strange Craft ever will.