CD

William The Conqueror – William The Conqueror EP

 

a2152252501_10.jpgA lovely little 5 track EP from the artist formerly known as Ruarri Joseph. Although edging for a slightly different sound it still has strong overtones of the typical Ruarri sound.

The Bandcamp page describes the music as “raw guitars, roomy drums, honky pianos and scuffed bluesy vocals cutting through the bullshit with wit and wisdom.”

I hope this is the beginning of a more extensive body of recordings, as I would like to fully understand where things are heading for this incredibly talented artist.

This is a personal EP and I’m sure there are rich and colourful stories behind each and every one of these carefully thought out tunes. All 5 tracks are very distinct and each in a different style; Tend To The Thorns is an indie rock number, Sinful Gladly is a bluesy number with epic slide guitar & harmonica moments and Señora is lilting gypsy ska tune – Yet it all fits together and makes sense as a coherent package. It’s testament to William as a skilled songwriter.

A native to Cornwall, I get the impression William is a bit of a hermit who only leaves his shell to ply his trade, but you know he will be soon be itching to get back in his shell where the fire is warm and the faces familiar.

‘Señora’ and ‘Just How High’ are the stand out tracks for me.

Oh, did I mention that the EP comes not only on CD but in a beautiful 10″ vinyl!!!

Listen here:

 

Martin Harley – Mojo Fix

421954_10151350078542815_1896162673_nFor those of you that don’t already know Martin Harley, you have to ask yourselves why the hell you don’t! He is one incredibly gifted guitarist, lap steel player, singer and songwriter that, as far as I can tell, is massively overlooked.

This album is a mixture of blues, country and heavy blues-rock. The blend of styles and sounds (note the stylophone in ‘Outlaw’, and the surf-rock guitar solo in ‘Wrecking Ball’) within this album makes it stand out and be heard – by me at least! The slower ballad type tracks have an air of country grace about them with the lap steel hitting all of those sweet country notes I would hope to expect. The heavier material is simple, effective and mainly groove or riff orientated… and that’s just fine with me. Rock shouldn’t be complicated.

If you want to see the brilliance of Martin’s work just have a listen to ‘Tightrope’ with its lilting bass line accompanied by ukulele-like guitar parts and a beautiful vocal melody, then compare it to ‘Ball & Chain’ with it’s rough and rugged edge, brimming with attitude.  His sheer ability to morph his sound from track to track is incredible.

The only negative thing I can say about this album is I think that the production value is a little bit poor in places with the vocals sitting a bit low in the mix for my liking, but overall the album sounds great – lets see if we can get Martin produced by someone like the Black Keys as an interesting experiment….

 

My 2 highlights on the album
– Being greeted by the title track Mojo Fix every time doesn’t get old
– ‘Tightrope’ and ‘Rum Shack’ work so well together so well back-to-back!

My 2 lowlights on the album
– As mentioned, the production could do with a little polishing in places I think.
– I have to wait until he releases some more material………!!!

Queens Of The Stone Age – “…Like Clockwork”

...Like ClockworkSeeing as this is my first post I want to be clear on things… this isn’t to set the tone for taste of things to come. 

Although I have always been aware of Queens Of The Stone Age, I hadn’t ever paid much attention to them. Nothing they had ever put out really grabbed my attention. There were a few songs that I was familiar with but nothing to win me over… then this album came out.

There is something about this album that I can’t quite put my finger on, something a bit mysterious in the sound of it (And I f**king love that!). It’s not ‘rock’n’roll’ as I have previously known it.

What I CAN put my finger on though is that it’s a mixture of well produced, well written rock songs with curve balls thrown in to stem any feelings of repetitiveness that so many artists can verge on now days. Each song has its own identity and I feel excited as soon as I hear the intro of each new track with the volume edging up ever so slightly each time…

The mixture of some electronic instruments in the mix works really well and the guitar (bass included) playing is phenomenal! The drums sound exactly like all rock drums should sound and I can’t fault the vocals one bit.

This isn’t going be news to anyone who has heard the album and it isn’t a particularly original beginning to a blog that will cover some more obscure releases in the near future – but I had to come out and say it to someone – I like (love) Queens Of The Stone Age (their new album at least… time for me to dig out some of their old stuff now).

My 2 highlights on the album:
If I Had A Tail – (track 4)
Smooth Sailing – (track 8)

My 2 lowlights on the album:
I listen to it so often I am worried I will get sick of it.
I now have to face that I might have been wrong about a band for a few years.