Rob Challis – 3AM Tears (Single Review)

With inspirations taken from Ella Henderson, Adele and Sam Smith, Rob Challis has been causing quite a stir with his honest music. Having supported artists such as Quill & Bev Bevan, and playing numerous festivals, Rob’s journey so far has constantly progressed and he’s still just at the beginning. His latest single; “3am Tears” was released over a month ago and the reception it’s had is fantastic, as it should. 

3am Tears deals with the struggle of a failed relationship. Heartbreak is felt throughout the song and heartstrings are seriously pulled to create sympathy for Rob. The one word that I can describe this song has to be REAL. We all go through it in someway, and heartbreak is not pretty. Pulling yourself together and reassuring yourself is the only way you can get through it, and in Rob’s case, he wrote a song to deal with it. It just so happens that the song is beautiful. The simplicity of the rhythm and melody is captivating and really draws you in. As Rob’s pleads his way through the song while playing piano and singing, the other instruments really brings the song a fresh light. In the darkest of times, we always find the light, it may sound cheesy but it’s true and for Rob, his light is his music. The song is loose and the bareness of it really draws attention to the band. The moodiness of the song is oozing emotions everywhere, in the lyrics, guitars, drums, piano, literally everything. Knowing Rob personally, I have to say that he seriously lives for this stuff and there’s nothing else on this planet that makes him happier than writing songs. His honesty and belief in things will enchant you along his journey. Keep your eye on Rob as he will be releasing his debut EP very soon. In the meantime, go listen to his previous single Enjoy Your Joywhich is about a traumatic experience Rob personally went through.

With the clock ticking so fast before we know it, we’ve been listening to this song on repeat until 3am… 

Score: 4/5

https://www.instagram.com/challisrobert/

https://www.facebook.com/ChallisRobert/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3-6t_Fj6EBxWuy5sSUjK5Q

https://robchallis.com/

Advertisements

Quill – Grey Goose Call (EP Review)

Quill are not only known for their unique musical style… they create a musical journey through the ages with their live set up. After listening to Grey Goose Call, it’s now a fact that they create the same energetic live essence throughout the studio recording. They sit comfortably within the celtic folk/rock genre and it’s safe to say, the latest line up have brought a fresh new sound to their music. With Grey Goose Call written by the band themselves, the 4 songs take us into a dark, but warming entrance to what feels like a new beginning.

The title track of the EP begins with a gentle goose calling, before strong harmonies that really remind of Fleetwood Mac’s tone’s enter. The band have adapted to their influences through time, but made sure their sound becomes so fresh to listen to. For a 6:12 minutes long song, it captivates you all the way through. As the song dynamically builds, the sound becomes quite diverse and intricate. The bass comfortably sits in the mix, but you can constantly hear the pulse repeating. I must say, the production is really intense and in your face with elements of Fairport Convention shining through. Having string instruments gives the song a complete different style. I personally feel if the strings weren’t in this track, it would sound more like a pop orientated track. Joy’s emotional vocals tell the story of simply hearing the “Grey Goose Call.” Maybe the goose is a symbolic structure of something? It could be a metaphor for a cry for help. In my opinion, the percussion and drums replicates the simplicity of the song, but by making it sound complex. The rhythm makes it sound kind of African and upbeat. This is a very strong song to set the bar quite high for what sounds like a warming welcome to the sound of Quill. The song ends just as it begins, indicating that yes, this is end, but it’s certainly not over yet.

“Elephant in the Room” begins with footsteps creeping up into a simple 4/4 beat. The guitars sound heavily influenced by old progressive rock tones, similar to bands like Genesis. Quill take a simple blues sounding song and subtle add tasty melodic guitar lines over the top, making it an extremely versatile song. The chorus is moody and has the ability to haunt anyone with the harmonies generating new, elegant parts throughout. An elephant in the room is a metaphor for an obvious problem in a room basically, and I really like how Quill can take a personal matter but make the problem not known. It leaves the audience asking “what is the actual problem?” Questioning an audience is a good thing in my opinion, because they are wanting to know more about your music, indicating them to keep on listening. I love how this song isn’t rushed and is played to indicate an emotion of love. When the instruments are all cut out to just the drums, it makes me feel that anything could happen next. The drums completely stop to just Joy singing “elephant in the room” which end with a subtle breath like sigh making the audience realise that after all this time, the actual problem and the elephant in the room, was simply the singer.

The subtly comes through this song with Joy’s vocals sounding exceptionally emotional. Having someone’s affection is the most warming feeling in the world and I really like how Quill have managed to replicate this feeling through “Skin on Skin.” This song is moody in the essence that it really grips you to hold onto every part of the song. All of the members of Quill have had a memorable history in music and I really like how they bring all their stories into one, creating a really big influence to their fans. This song would really be a lovely wedding dance for a couple, as the comfort of the song is so calming. There’s genuinely no negativity shining in this song, making it really a big moment on the EP. Dynamically, the song doesn’t build as much as the others on the EP, but it works so well to keep such a calming momentum.

The last track on the EP is a fist pump for wanting love. The whole EP is situated round love and the different aspects that you want. We have Skin on Skin which is the comfort of affection, whereas the vibe I’m getting from “Little Affection” is needing to be loved. It’s the longest track on the EP and it constantly builds with influences of world music being mirrored constantly. The rhythm of the song just makes you tap your feet and really dive into the music. “I forgotten what it felt like to fall in love” takes us into a new element of the song; really needing this love otherwise things could fall apart. I personally feel that the singer is needing this love to carry on, it’s her well-being and soul on the line, if she doesn’t get this love, something bad could happen. It makes me think; what is she actually in love with? could it be being in love with the meaning of love? a friend? a piece of music? It could be anything, which makes me like this a whole lot more. The sense of not knowing what the topic is throughout the EP makes me drawn to Quill’s music more. We never really know what the actual concept Joy is singing about which is great, we’re just left with the topic of love. This track is one that the whole band wrote together which strangely enough, makes the song so much bigger than the others on the track. It’s definitely the stand out, rock ballad of the EP. It’s proggy in the aspect that the concept is here, there and everywhere.

As a whole, the EP is truly wonderful. I’m lucky enough to be supporting Quill on the 8th June at the Artrix Theatre in Bromsgrove.

The musicians on the album consist of Joy Strachan-Brain on vocals, Kate McWilliam on violin and backing vocals, Abby Brant on keyboards and backing vocals, Tony Kelsey on guitars and backing vocals, Matt Worley on bass and backing vocals, Andy Edwards on the drums and the ELO legend, Bev Bevan on percussion… we now realise the secret behind Quill’s full sound, the extremely talented musicians behind the songs. 

Favourite Tracks: Elephant in the Room, Skin on Skin, Little Affection
Score: 7.5/10

https://quillbanduk.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/quilluk/
http://www.quilluk.com/

 

TAMSYN – Dirt (Single Review)

Being featured on BBC Introducing is always a great step into the music industry, and the boys of TAMSYN have done just that. The indie rock band from Manchester have been on the circuit for over 2 years now and have already released a debut EP plus a couple of single. Their new track “Dirt” is being released on May 7th onto iTunes and Spotify, plus it will have it’s own music video too. The track is being released as a single to begin hype for their second EP “If I Didn’t Love Trouble Then I Wouldn’t Love You” due for release later this year.

The song deals with living with mistakes of the past. The opening lyric “if you keep digging up the past, it’s going to bury you” is really an eye opener that will make you stop in your tracks and question your own past. It’s completely true, if you keep digging up the past, it will eventually bury you and you’ll be back to how you were before. Every situation is different though and sometimes bringing up the past can be a good thing, it all depends on the situation. The main vocal line of Dirt is constantly catching your attention, and after hearing it for the first time, it’s now stuck in my head. Having a memorable part to any song is always a clever idea to capture the audience.

The most prominent part has to be the chorus lyric; Roses grown from dirt” and what a deep lyric that is. It’s a metaphor that’s simply put as, everyone has imperfections (being the dirt) but even your negatives can turn into positives, being the roses in this case. It could also be linked in with mental health, the dirt meaning anxiety or depression for example, and even though its such a dark thing to go through, it can make you stronger in the long run which links back to the beautiful essence of roses.

The instrumentation of the song is fairly simple, especially the drums and bass, but it really captures the elements of the indie-pop track. I really like how the vocals aren’t as powerful until near the ending and it really brings the dynamics of the song to the peak moment. The tone of the guitars is raw and vintage sounding, making it sound like a 1970’s tone but on a modern-day track. This is the first song that I heard in TAMSYN’s discography, and I’m liking their charisma, tone’s and vibes. All in all, great track.

Score: 3/5

http://tamsyn.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/TAMSYNofficial/

https://instagram.com/tamsyn_official

Hush Mozey – Tales of Bigotry (EP Review)

Being their debut release, “Tales of Bigotry” is a strong EP for Hush Mozey and they definitely should be ready for their future, because through my eyes, it seems pretty bright. Their music delivers influences from punk, grunge, ska and “drowsy rock and roll.” The Bristol based band have grown a following and have even took to the stage at Y-Not Fest and Truck Fest. Their latest release, which dropped on the 24th March, has been a success so far and I hope the band all the best of luck with whats to come too.

The EP’s kicked off with the gloomy, treble, dark bass line in “Moroccan Treasure” with bright, delicate guitar parts too. The guitars are somewhat powerful, not dynamically, but more emotionally than anything else. A tremolo effect on the guitar (more obvious towards the end of the song) adds company to the bizarre song. The song is about living a life of luxury with the person you admire/love. I could be wrong, but that’s what the song feels like to me. It’s sleazy, heavily blues influenced but quirky and fun.

“A Place For Them” was released as a single before the EP was released and they released a music video for it too (link below.) The song itself is witty, indie and reminds me a bit of The Coral. This song would fit perfectly in a musical about clowns or something like that. I feel it would fit really well in that dark scenery. Just over half way, the song goes into a sort of “ska section” with off beat guitar parts, giving the song a completely different feel and influence, until it goes back to the witty indie sound again. All I can think of with the meaning of this is “A Place for Them” could be where all the unusual people go to, to feel at home.

The vocals are quite lazy and careless, but it makes the song have its own chill, unique feel in “Burlesque.” It’s a real indie song with some hipster lyrics like “still sat here by my window, strike a Picasso pose, cigarette smoke.” Burlesque is really a soft song about being in love and showing affection. A melodic and chromatic guitar riff ends the song really nicely making the song dynamically end. As a whole, it sounds jazz influenced, but without the fancy chords. Hush Mozey really make their own sound with this track.

“Listen Learn” is an intimate song about love and affection again. It features a treble based bass part which is a similar bass tone to all the other tracks so far but with this song in particular sounding more distorted. Vocally, this is definitely the catchiest track so far with the lyric “none of this is new” being a main hook line. The guitar tones are really interesting and reminds me a bit of the “90’s Britpop sound.” Strong song with lovely backing vocals too.

The next track is the most political song on the record and proves a point that they’re anti conservative. Joe (frontman of Hush Mozey) talks about the people he cares about who have no money in “Paper People” whereas the “Tory Bastards” have all the money and are still not happy. I’m not very political and don’t really like showing my views publicly, but I definitely do understand that one of the best ways to show your views is through writing a song so fair play to the main lyricist of the band for writing a politically point. The song is heavily humour based as well with a main lyric “Hugo Boss was a nazi” leaving me with a bit of a smile and chuckle. The song is punk, maybe not Sex Pistols punk, but more Blink 182, and it even has hints of the Libertines. With the song being 2:07, it definitely feels like there should have been more.

Another rebellious attitude is shown in “Hideout” where Joe shares a wacky idea of shaving his head and wearing a dress, to prove a point and frighten the fainthearted? I think so. I really like the structure and instrumentation with the song, with the verses being really stripped back with a lo-fi guitar part accompanied by a subtle programmed drum beat. The pre choruses really do give the song a dynamic build into the choruses. Dynamically, the choruses are the peak of the song which is always what’s expected. Half way through, the song goes bare but only includes the bass laying down a quick riff with a few angelic vocals over the top of it. The ending of the song is really captivating and you can tell they’ve found their light as “they’ve found the hideout.”

The last track on the EP is the longest song off it too. Instrumentally, “One More Night” is jazz influenced with hints of the dark elements of Portishead. The vocalist of the band seems to have a voice very similar to Brian Molko (Placebo) which is unusual, but he really does bring his own uniqueness to the music. Three quarters through the track, we’re created with a soft blues guitar type solo which features a subtle delay to give the song even more of a heavenly jazz feel.

Hush Mozey are quirky and really make all their influences shine through their music. I’m looking forward to all of their other releases to come in the future. Plus I must say, the artwork for Tales of Bigotry is stunning and so unique.

Favourite Tracks: A Place For Them, Listen Learn, Hideout, One More Night
Score: 7/10

https://www.hushmozey.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hushmozey/

Million Empire – Visceral (EP Review)

Million Empire have been on the circuit for about 10 years now and the band have really gotten their names across around the West Midlands music scene. With their new EP “Visceral” due for release on 30th March, Visceral is their 3rd EP to date. With influences heavily from the 90’s alternative rock scene, you can hear the likes of Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam in their music with flavourings of their own unique ability. I’m really looking forward to sitting down and listening to their new release.

Not in my Nature” is straight to the point with the vocals starting straight away with a rebellious attitude. Not in my Nature deals with identity and sticking to rules to keep yourself “you”. Going out of your comfort zone and nature can make someone go off the rails and turn into something that they’re not. The vocals sound quite similar to Josh Franceschi out of You Me at Six and has that twang, but the song itself is heavy and progressed to become a grunge based track that rebels against the system. The bass plays a melodic riff half way through which gives the song a whole new style before it starts to build back into a powerful part where the chorus is played in a half time speed. Dynamically, the song builds and keeps you caught throughout.

Starting with very faint drums, “Fear of Thirteen” makes you unsure of what’s to come. It kind of fools you in the way to think “oh this song is quiet, let’s turn the volume up” and before we know it, a powerful foot stomping riff comes into the mix. Musically, the song sounds heavily influenced by early Soundgarden on their Badmotorfinger album. The song is fast and sometimes a bit too much going on. “I hit you once, you hit me twice, but we never took the time to see who’s right” is a lyric that can be really quite dark, maybe this is about a relationship between two people; lovers or friends, who constantly fight and never actually sit down to talk about issuing their problems. I could be completely wrong, but that’s the vibe that I’m getting from this track. Triskaidekaphobia is a fear of being afraid of the number 13 which a lot pf people do have, so perhaps that’s what the song is technically about. It’s scary and constantly a punch to the stomach in the dark moments.

“Head vs Heart vs Brick Wall” is constantly pumped with energy. You can definitely hear At the Drive in as an influence for the boys of Million Empire in this track. As a singer myself, I always try to listen out for catchy little hook lines that other singers sing and the catchiest part of this track has got to be the lyric “I haven’t felt my heart beat” which features in the chorus. As a song, it’s dynamically always in your face, which can be a bit too much, but it does work well.

Clever guitar parts come through the track and as a whole, the levels at the beginning of “Cancer in the Rut” are all over the place (in a good way) which is really different to their other tracks so far as they’ve been constantly loud. With this being the longest track on the EP, it’s definitely the most clever out of the 5, with the dynamic shifts. I must say though, I would love to know what the singer is really singing about as the lyrics seems to be addressing a subject but not really identifying what’s exactly on their mind. I can really relate to an artist when they get personal with their words.

Please” is the ballad of the entire EP and it’s also a lovely close to it. The guitar is featured with a lovely tremolo effect that gives the song such a bold edge to it. Over half way through the song, it does pick up and start to get heavier, but before we know it, the momentum has gone and we’re back to the quiet, eerie beginning of pleading for forgiveness.

Real clever EP by the boys of Million Empire, they’ve definitely gained a fan from me!

Favourite Tracks: Not in my Nature, Fear of Thirteen, Please
Score: 6.5/10

http://millionempire.wixsite.com/millionempire/music

https://www.facebook.com/millionempire/

Samantha Fish – Belle of the West (Review)

Released on November 3rd 2017 through Ruf Records and produced by Luther Dickinson, this is Samantha Fish’s second album of 2017. Samantha has risen through the years and is now one of the main faces of modern blues music. She recently had an interview in Total Guitar and it was wonderful. I met her 3 years ago when she did a gig at the Iron Road in Evesham, and she completely rocked the place with not only her killer music but also her down to earth attitude and charisma. I’m really looking forward to finally sitting down and listening to this album and hear her new ‘big’ sound. The album features artists from Amy LaVere, Tikyra Jackson, Shardé Thomas and Lillie Mae.

We kick of the album with American Dream and it surely is a great start to the album. The big bass drum sound delivers a heart thumping pound to the song. The lyrics are pretty straight to the point… she’s living the american dream, yes we know Samantha, you’re getting famous now! Personally, I think the acoustic guitar doesn’t sit perfectly in the mix, it sounds far back where it should really be quite prominent like Sam’s vocals, but that’s a personal preference. The fiddle’s really capture the country blues twang though, Dynamically, the song builds and it’s a strong, safe start to the album.

Blood in the Water is really catchy and blends lovely, loose harmonies together in the key of the song. The song is quite dark and soulful. It has attitude and a lot of “balls” to it. The guitar solo basically follows the harmony melody but it really does scream and captures the whole song. The guitar solo keeps it all together in my eyes. It’s like putting a cherry on top of a tasty cake, without the cherry it would be pretty bare. I guess there’s only so much you can do with blues, but whatever Samantha does with keeping blues so modern, she does it well.

Americana blues defines the next song “Need You More”. It tells the story of longing for that special person. I have this feeling that Samantha is crying about longing for her loved one (wherever that’s a partner or a family member) while she’s on the road touring. It’s a lovely little heart wrenching song that deals with real situations of missing someone. Technically, the song doesn’t do much as it’s quite simple, but emotionally it does make you feel something and empathise whatever she’s singing about.

“Cowtown” means a small, isolated town. This song is the longest song on the album so far. I feel it could have been so much shorter as this song is screaming for a biggest arrangement. It’s upbeat but needs the drums harder and bass line complicated. It does still work with this arrangement, but I feel it could have a much bigger sound as it has so much more potential. I really do admire Sam’s voice though, I don’t know how to manage’s to do those sassy vocal rolls all the time, I guess it’s her delicacy.

We start the next song, “Daughters” with some really interesting drum patterns. They don’t sound like they’ve been over produced which I really like as it fits the song really nicely. The rawness of this song captures my heart so far. The backing keyboard with a tremolo effect is really gloomy and eerie. It’s mainly quite a moody song about daughters breaking people’s heart which is an interesting subject in itself, but something about it is really making it stick out on the album.

Samantha has this way with her music that she takes what feels like pop lyrics and makes it into blues which to me is really interesting, maybe to others it’s not their cup of tea. “Don’t Say You Love Me” captures how lovely her voice is and you can feel every emotion. I must say though, I do prefer her old stuff from her 2015 “Wild Heart“album, she really did rock out then and used her guitar as a weapon with the screaming solos. This album is highly missing that so far. It seems like she’s gone back to the americana roots, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but c’mon Sam, I want to hear the badness in you again!

“Belle of the West” is raw and subtle but so iconic for the album as well. It has a lot of pressure to be right as it’s the title track o the album, but everything about it is so perfect. Nothing really more to say then that. I must say though, obviously as I said, I’m personally missing the badass of Sam’s music, I really do like it stripped back blues as well, just proves she can play both sides.

Next up is a cover of the old blues song “Poor Black Mattie” originally done by R. L Burnside. The song has come back to life with Lightnin Malcolm on vocals while Samantha does a some sort of call of response with Malcolm which is really effective, but I must say Lightnin Malcolm just completely steals this song with his distinctive voice. I’ve never heard of this track before until now, but after listening to the original, they really do make it their own.

Purest of blues, “No Angels” is driven through by the double bass which is rhythmically given the same kind of feel as the famous blues track “Baby Please Don’t Go” but slowed down. It’s effective, but not really that original. The thing with blues, it’s all been done before, but every time we hear a new blues track, we expect it to be something that’ll blow our minds. No Angels is a big song on the album, but it still doesn’t have the same impact as the beginning of the album did. It’s the ninth track on the album and it’s feeling like we’re losing the momentum and willpower a bit. Good song, but definitely missing something.

Lillie Mae Rische (who is mainly known for being a country artist who has worked with Jack White) takes lead on this next song “Nearing Home”. Samantha takes to the harmonies and their two voice blend together so nicely. This could be the one song that steals the whole album. The song is so soft and delicate and completely captures you all the way through. Biggest ballad of the album.

“Gone for Good” has been a secret gem of Samantha’s for a few years as it’s been hidden in her discography as she’s played it in her live sets for numerous of years and it’s nice to finally hear it studio recorded. I must say I do prefer this live, it has so much more energy and it completely rocks when she just goes into a screaming face melting guitar solo.

Overall, it’s a good album and it’s not bad at all. I just feel like something could be missing from it. Samantha is so talented though and it’s great to hear some new musicians in her band.

Favourite Tracks: American Dream, Blood in the Water, Daughters, Belle of the West, Poor Black Mattie, Nearing Home, Gone for Good

Score – 6/10

Nick Harper & The Wilderness Kids – Lies! Lies! Lies! (Review)

Nick Harper has been my biggest musical influence ever since I was little. He’s hands down my favourite songwriter and artist other than Mr Jeff Buckley. I’ve been brought up with Nick’s music and also his father’s music as well, Roy Harper. When I first heard that Nick was touring with a band (the Wilderness Kids aka “Port Erin”) back in 2016, it definitely caught my attention, but then I found out he was recording an album with them too… I was ecstatic. Released on Friday 8th December, “Lies! Lies! Lies! is political and opinionated. Even the album cover has some very familiar faces on it. I’ll try to not be so biased while writing this review and be completely open with my thoughts.

Nick has many views against the being he’s singing about in this title track. “Lies! Lies! Lies!” is about, well, you guessed it, President Trump. Mr Trump isn’t liked by many people at all and this song is basically a story of why Nick & the Wilderness Kids don’t like him either. The song is groovy and it’s filled with rhythmical goodness. It’s an angry song and very political but it’s definitely emotional and a cry out with how a lot of people have been feeling since Trump has gotten into power.

“Nobody Loves You” is another political story based on a true event (so I think!) Woody Guthrie wrote lyrics about Fred Trump for racism. The song itself though is upbeat, powerful and it sure does deliver as it completely rocks! I love how with songwriting, the song itself can be about anyone you want it to be about. Yes, this song is political, but it doesn’t really have to be if you don’t want it to be. It could be about your worst enemy and how nobody loves them. Overall though, great song and one of my favourites.

The next song on this political album isn’t actually anything to do with politics. It’s literally about “Leaving the Club”. It’s a disco rock kind of song that is simply groovy and makes you want to dance. It’s filled with fuzzy guitar which makes it different and not just like any other groovy disco rock song. After such political songs, you’d think this surely needs to be related to something political, but like I said, it’s about leaving the club and also not having enough money to go back there, which I guess could be took as a political way as the country is broke. It seems like we need a magic money tree!

Next we have another personal favourite one of mine. The subject is fairly simple as it’s literally about “Black Friday” which is a shopping sales event that originally started in America, but we get it over here now in the UK! (Yay cheap stuff!) This is another song that isn’t political. I really love how one of the guitars gives this flamenco style in the verses which is really unique. I give it to the bass player as well, throughout all of these songs, the bass has constantly been grooving and constantly moving, round of applause to Jacob Tyghe. When it goes into the real cool, jazz part, it sounds very heavenly and dreamy. It’s an absolutely gorgeous, maybe this part is related in the way that when we see an item in a shop and instantly want to buy and then when we do, we feel good? Maybe it’s linked with that, who knows, but that’s what I think. The build up afterwards just rocks so much, I can’t even put into words how Nick’s music is so versatile. It’s so good to hear Nick play with a band after being so used to hearing him on an acoustic guitar. Even the guitar solo is modernised with a really cool reverse style delay going on. Beautiful song.

Tiina, two i’s… that’s how the spelling goes” definitely brings you closer to knowing what “Tiina” is like and brings us closer to this story. We’re back to politics and religion with this song. It tells a story about Nick’s best friend’s wife (born in Finland) being faced with deportation even though she’s lived in the UK for over 30 years. She’s faced with writing an 85 page document on why she should remain here… the place where she lives with her friends and family. It’s a very emotional and real song. I really like in the song we get a female talking which I can only presume is Tiina herself. It’s experimental and sad.

“So… it turns out there is a Magic Money Tree” is the beginning lyric of the next song on the album. It’s funny and strange. “Magic Money Tree” is groovy and pretty cool. It makes me feel like I’m on drugs while listening to it though. When I went to watch Nick and the Wilderness Kids on the album tour, he’d stop the song when he said “it’s for clinging onto POWER!!!” and would start laughing like a lunatic with lots of delay and reverb on his microphone. It was so effective and the studio version feels like it lacks that. I think though, it’s just another excuse to see Nick live because he’s so influenced by crazy stuff like Frank Zappa and you wouldn’t ever be bored while going to watch him. Magic Money Tree is obviously about finding money on a tree and wasting lots of the money, or in other words, how our country lost money and it turns out we have a magic money tree but only the rich use them and not us “normal” people. I don’t really show my views with politics online and offline, purely because I don’t really know enough about it all so it’s not my place to say much, but if I knew enough, I would definitely write songs about it, as it’s a way I deal with things, just like Nick does.

We Keep Turning Right” isn’t really the strongest on the album but it’s still good. It’s groovy as all of Nick’s songs tend to be. His songs sure does make your feel tap. I think this is about the right-wing of politics and how “we keep turning right”, for example – the right parties are in power. “Have a Nice Deity” is upbeat and sounds very happy but it’s probably the worst song on the album. It’s good but it’s not quite up there as well as the other songs unfortunately. It’s the most “pop” song of the album. For a 6:36 song, it just doesn’t feel like it gets anywhere, plus I don’t know what it’s about either! The instrumentation is great though and the song itself will probably grow on me.

“Dark Forces” is a post-punk sounding song with a very indie music based theme to it. It’s negative and about dark times, obviously. Nick’s always been the type of songwriter that tells a story with his songs, that’s probably why a lot of people stick in the ‘folk’ category, but this is just another song that explains he’s not really a folk artist after all.
Global Nation” starts off with a progressive 70’s Gentle Giant complicated sounding riff with an added harmony. This song is definitely more happy and upbeat then the last song. Global Nation is about even through hard times, our world will become better again.

Overall, this album has balls and it’s taking risks. Some people won’t like it because of how political it is. Musically, the album is amazing and lyrically too! The songs are really great. It’s so good to hear Nick playing with a band. Even though people won’t agree with what he’s saying, we can all appreciate the talent that Nick has and also the amazing backing band of his, the Wilderness Kids

Score – 9/10
Favourite Tracks: Lies! Lies! Lies!, Nobody Loves You, Leaving the Club, Black Friday, Magic Money Tree, Dark Forces, Global Nation

http://harperspace.com/