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)


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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)

Power Plays w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)

MILES NIELSEN AND THE RUSTED HEARTS Hands Up (indie)
THE FARGO RAILROAD COMPANY Something In The Water (indie)
THE DARK ELEMENT If I Had A Heart (Frontiers)
LIBERTY LIES A Thousand People (indie)
DIRTY SHIRLEY Here Comes The King (Frontiers)
CARRY THE CROWN Runaway (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 WORK OF ART Exhibits (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SIGN X Like A Fire (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 JACK BROADBENT Moonshine Blue (Creature Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

MAGNUM Sleepwalking (1992)



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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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