Album review: THE DOWLING POOLE – Bleak Strategies

The Dowling Poole - Bleak Strategies

369 Records [Release date:  11.08.14] https://www.facebook.com/TheDowlingPoole

Not a Drowning Pool tribute band but the latest poprocktastic creation from Willie Dowling (Honeycrack/Jackdaw4) and his co-collaborator Jon Poole (ex-Cardiacs). They have funded this via Pledge Music and they sing and play all the instruments, with Givvi Flynn adding backing vocals and taking lead vocals on ‘Clean’.

From the opener ‘The Sun Is Mine’ that recalls the great XTC, you just know this is going to be a fine album. ‘A Kiss On The Ocean’ is how you write a perfect pop rock song folks. From the blissful chorus (shades of Madness at times and ELO on the ‘ooh la la’ backing vocals) through to the splendid verses, it takes the listener on a harmonious pop journey. ‘Saving It All For A Saturday’ has the Kinks knack for wrapping a mundane slice of life into a memorable tune.

There is so much to enjoy on here, with plenty going on in the musical background – it’s amazing what a layered sound these two musicians can create. There are Beach Boy approved harmonies (‘Paper, Scissors, Stone’), hints of their previous bands (Jackdaw4 on ‘Twilight Subplot’) and most importantly they carry on the tradition of English musical whimsy. If you like XTC, The Kinks, The Beatles, 10cc – you will love this album trust me.

You can get this currently on Pledge Music and try their Facebook page as lovers of power pop/pop rock your album of the year has arrived!  ****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

The Dowling Poole are featured ‘In Session for GRTR!’ on Sunday 30 November 2014 at 21:00.  More…

Interview (September 2014)
Gig review (September 2014)


David Randall plays a selection of new and classic rock in his weekly show first broadcast 14 June 2020 including reference to the Feature series “2020 Vision”.


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Featured Albums w/c 6 July (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MANDOKI SOULMATES Living In The Gap (Red Rock Production/Cleopatra)
12:00-13:00 MAGNUS KARLSSON’S FREE FALL – We Are The Night (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BEN REEL The Nashville Calling (B.Reel Records)

Power Plays w/c 6 July (Mon-Fri)

ZENITH MOON Gypsy (Golden Robot Records)
RARITY Leave It Alone (New Damage Records)
THE RISING I Want You (indie)
MANDOKI SOULMATES Young Rebels (Red Rock Production/Cleopatra)
LA GUNS Well Oiled Machine (Golden Robot Records)



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One Response to Album review: THE DOWLING POOLE – Bleak Strategies

  1. Pingback: Albums of the Year 2014 | The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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