Quick Plays: MR GIL, STEEL THREADS

MR GIL – I Want You To Get Back Home’ Metal Mind Productions 2012

This is the fourth studio album from Mr Gil, a band centred around guitarist Mirak Gil (ex-Believe). He is joined by Karl Wroblewski (vocals), Konrad Wantrych (keyboards/piano/vocals) and Paulina Druch (cello).

The album is a loose concept piece based on the story of a homecoming. Musically it is vary quiet and restrained, dominated by piano and cello for the most part (very little guitar at all). The vocals of Karl Wroblewski are something else – lulling the listener in be it on ‘Time’, almost like a lullaby or on ‘Our Shoes’, which has an epic chorus bringing to mind Porcupine Tree at their more commercial end.

It really is hard to pick out highlights as the whole album fits seamlessly together, although quick mention to ‘Goodnight’ where again the vocals on the chorus and the musical backing are simply stunning.

Gentle and rewarding progressive music worthy of a place in your collection.

****

Jason Ritchie

STEEL THREADS – Timing Is Everything 2012 www.steelthreadmusic.co.uk

Formed in July 2011 the band consists of Neil Wardleworth on guitar, vocals and percussion, Stuart Eastham on double bass and Cliff Woodworth on fiddle. Listening to this album you are reminded of the Levellers (more in that band’s acoustic mode as Steel Threads don’t use drums or electric bass) and the Waterboys, both bands who happily melded rock with folk. Steel Threads also add in a touch of epic rock a la Led Zeppelin on ‘Gave You A Thought’, which if it had a full on rhythm section would blow your speakers! As it is it is still a mighty beast of a tune.

The fiddle playing certainly keeps the listener’s interest (Cliff Woodworth has the slightly spacey sound former Fairport Convention fiddler Ric Sanders has) as the one weakness in the album for me is some of the songs sound to mid-paced. Perhaps a couple more songs like ‘Dead In My Mouth’ and the title track would have made this album stronger. Still of definite interest to fans of the Levellers and the masters of folk rock, Fairport Convention.

***

Jason Ritchie


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