Album review: EVILYN STRANGE – Mourning Phoebe

Evilyn Strange [Release date 13.07.13]

There is evidently some humour in this band and their publicity, describing  themselves as part Beatles part Black Label Society.  Philip and Al Strange (I assume brothers but let’s take nothing for granted here) are joined by Swedish guitarist Mikael Johannesson.

The opener sets the high standard, the riff-driven ‘Ballad Of Evilyn Strange’ but any Zakk Wylde fixations tend to fall off after this, what we are left with is a debut album of great songs that withstand replay.

‘Everything’ and ‘Love Finds You’  have had some moderate success as singles and Philip Strange’s vocal style borders at times on Richard Hawley-croon.  Not a bad thing as it gives some of these tracks a sort of updated American late-sixties psych-rock vibe.

‘Just A Little’ is another example of catchy, competent pop rock and throughout there is no sense of filler.  The tunes are enhanced by Al Strange’s keys and backing vocals whilst Johannesson veers on just the right side of shred.

Back in the day this album would have had the band in Sergeant Pepper-like uniforms and David Rubinson tweaking the mixes.  As it is, two parts East Midlands,  one part Malmo, one great album.  ****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

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