Rock

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:

 

BJ Barham -Rockingham

Rockingham_sm

There is something so honest about this music that should speak to every person’s inner being. I have no doubt if you went to a BJ Barham show it would sound near enough exactly like the record – Honest, well written and well executed.

BJ’s debut solo album ‘Rockingham’ is a gritty Americana album from someone I don’t know a whole lot about… yet. Released in the UK on Brighton’s At The Helm Records (Also home to Hans Chew & Daniel Meade – Check them both out).

It’s the sort of album I can imagine preceding a supervision of a film soundtrack or television soundtrack – Bear McCreary style.

Fuck it, just go and buy the album, put some headphones on, lie down and listen. You’ll find yourself thinking about your first love, future love, happiness and despair.

As BJ says himself, “the most valuable thing you can give someone’s your time” – And this is well worth the 32 minutes. You won’t regret it (if you do, you’re wrong).

(I wrote this whilst drinking beer and watching Bridget Jones… things got passionate)

BJ Barham
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BJBarhamNC
Website: http://www.bjbarham.com

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………!!!