Quick plays: DIANA JONES, KRISTOFFER GILDENLOW, PJP BAND, BE LIKE PABLO,LUCKY BONES

DIANA JONES - Museum of Appalachia Recordings

DIANA JONES Museum of Appalachia Recordings
Proper Records [Release date 08.07.13]

Diana Jones made a break through with her 2006 album ‘My Remembrance Of You’, although she had been singing and recording since the mid-90′s. This album is as basic sound wise as you can get, recorded in a log cabin to get that feel of when music was recorded live without any modern technology. It certainly achieves this aim and with her two fellow musicians, Matt Combs and Shad Cobb, this sounds like they are playing in your living room!

Diana Jones and her singing are something else. not quite sure how to describe it properly, in that she has that sound of a singer from a bygone age. The music mixes traditional country with bluegrass and each song tells a story, with highlights including the beautifully sung ‘Sparrow’ and ‘Song For A Worker’.

A wonderful voice and songs will certainly make more people sit up and take notice of Diana Jones.  ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

KRISTOFFER GILDENLOW Rust
Glassville Records (Released 10th June)

Kristoffer Gildenlöw (the former bassist of Pain Of Salvation) has worked on ‘Rust’, his first solo record, for over a year and he wrote the music and the lyrics, as well as playing a number of instruments. The album also features sixteen guest musicians including Ruud Jolie (Within Temptation), Fredrik Hermansson (ex-Pain Of Salvation) and Ola Heden (The Flower Kings).

I have never really had chance to listen to Pain Of Salvation (and I am sure our Pure Metal editor will tell me off for being so lax!), so can’t really draw musical comparisons to his previous band, however safe to say if you enjoy Steven Wilson, post-Waters Pink Floyd and Elbow you will love this album. It is very quiet in parts and there is some stunning choral/vocal arrangements dotted throughout the album.

‘Heroes’ and opener ‘Callout’ are real treats for the listener and classic headphones music so the listener can appreciate and not miss any of the intricate soundscapes.

Mellow, melancholic progressive music that will stand the test of time and a perfect late night, headphones on listen.  ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

PJP BAND And So It Goes

Lauded by some(?) as one of the country’s finest live bands, PJP Band are a three piece led by vocal / keyboard player and songwriter Patrick-James Pearson.  Drummer Tim Langsford and bassist Mike Osborne complete the band, but make no mistake, this is PJP’s trip.

The absence of guitars may be observed as an oversight by some (although guest players do feature) and while GRTR! would generally consider the absence of six strings an act of heresy, there have been a few notable exceptions – ELP, and to a lesser degree Keane.

Another band who seem to have sprouted from nowhere, there’s precious littleinformation about PJP to be found, and And So It Goes is a really difficult album to pigeon hole.

Dark and brooding, it’s certainly not pop, and while there’s some idiosyncratic prog aspects, I’d hardly call it ‘rock’ either.  Some of the pacier numbers share aspects with The Editors and David Byrne, but the PR blurb that describes PJP as raw mesmerising grungey sub pop isn’t far wide of the mark.

And So It Goes is a curious beast.  In some ways there’s the mainstream commercial sensibilities of Chris Martin in evidence, but that’s balanced our by raw unpredictability of Stranglers era punk and an intense and performance by Pearson.

At first blush it would be easy to dismiss PJP, but there’s something unique that demands further consideration.  And in some ways, that’s what the rock needs now more than ever.  A challenging listen, but one that rewards perseverance.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

BE LIKE PABLO The New Adventures

Yawn.  Describing themselves as ‘punk for nerds’, a bunch of four young schoolteachers from Forres in the North East of Scotland have got together to create Be Like Pablo.

I’d like to say they bring something fresh to the scene, but to my ears this is just another stereotypical example of the sort of power pop that NME and the likes have championed for too many years now.

Yes, there’s pleasant boy/girl vocals, it’s all very upbeat and their undisguised accents give them a novel(ish) twist.  The songs too, are decent enough lightweight pop, and no doubt they’ll do well on the summer festival circuit.  But I’d be surprised if long term careers can be built on such slender foundation and they’d be well advised not to give up the day jobs just yet.

Mind you, I’ve seen the band described as a hybrid of Belle & Sebastian and Jimmy Eat World.  I’d rather eat my underpants than listen to either, so maybe I’m the wrong person to take a subjective view.  **1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

LUCKY BONES  Someone’s Son

In our review of Lucky Bones’ (Dublin-based singer songwriter Eamonn O’Connor) debut album – ‘Together We Are All Alone’ (2011) – we concluded that while there was a clutch of excellent numbers – ‘Stand So Tall’ being a standout, the sheer diversity of the fare on offer conspired to make it fall short of an obvious target market.

Having toured the debut album throughout Europe and the USA, the band (currently consisting of O’Connor, Leon Kennedy (bass), Conor Miley (keys) and Peter O’Grady (guitars)) returned to the sleepy town of Bastrop, some forty miles from Austin, Texas towards the end of 2012 to hook up again with producer Stephen Ceresia.

Once again, delivered with a plaintive vocal style not far removed from that Starsailor’s James Walsh, there’s a blending of roots rock with elements of folk and country.  And once again, it’s a mixed bag.

The album opens with perhaps the best track on offer – ‘She Don’t Know’ – a Springsteen style slice of storytelling Americana.  The lilting ‘Forever With Wings’ runs it close, but the rest of the material fails to hit same high watermark.

There’s clearly a classic album lurking in Lucky Bones locker.  Unfortunately, like its predecessor Someone’s Son only hints at it.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley

ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER Personal Record

Eleanor Friedberger – a new name to me, but scratch below the surface and you’ll find a hugely prolific artist.  Firstly, as one half of American indie rock due The Fiery Furnaces (with brother Matthew) who produced seven experimental albums over the period 2003 – 2009, and more latterly as a solo artist – her debut last Summer being released in 2011.

While brother Matthew was responsible for most of the Fiery Furnace material , Eleanor is now ploughing her own furrow in the quirky pop field.  Hard to pigeon hole, but well capable of filling the female fronted indie pop void left by Rilo Kiley, Eleanor’s vocals have echoes of a young Debbie Harry while the material nicely straddles the mainstream pop / indie border.

Even on her own side of the pond she seems to be a relatively well kept secret, but Personal Record could change that with its intelligent songs and summer sound.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley


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Power Plays w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)

BLOCK BUSTER Losing Gravity (Frontiers)
WATCH ME BREATHE Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It (The Label Group/INGrooves)
FIRES OF FREYA Take A Bow (indie)
BLACK STAR RIDERS Underneath The Afterglow (Nuclear Blast)
STOMPIN’ HEAT Shiny Curly Red Hair (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 THE DEFIANTS Zokusho (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CORELEONI II (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 TONY McLOUGHLIN True Native (Fuego)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

BAD COMPANY Company Of Strangers (1995)



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