369 Music www.thedowlingpoole.com [Released 08.04.16]
The Dowling Poole’s 2014 debut album ‘Bleak Strategies’ easily made my year end top 10, so this new album has a lot to live up to. Based around the duo of Willie Dowling (Jackdaw4/the Grip/the Wildhearts/Honeycrack) and Jon Poole (Cardiacs/the Wildhearts/Silver Ginger 5), The Dowling Poole ooze pop rock class and then some. The duo are ably assisted on backing vocals by Givvi Flynn, who also presented the entertaining series of YouTube videos leading up to the album’s release.
The duo are steeped in the classic British art of songwriting and quirky pop, be it the Beatles approved psychedelia swirling around ‘Whatever’ or ‘Bring Back The Glow’, which sounds like 90′s XTC, sterling stuff.
It is the layers upon layers of instruments and vocals they build into each song that amazes the listener on each play. Take ‘When She Knows She Knows’ (imagine Blur with someone who can hold a tune), a simple riff in the background and then on top you have the vocals, bar room piano playing, keyboards and guitar, a veritable Aladdin’s cave and this is just one song.
‘Rebecca Receiving’ is the lead single and rightly so as it should be blaring from radios worldwide. Okay maybe in a parallel universe it would be when decent songwriting and tunes actually made the charts instead of cookie cutter ‘pop’ from TV shows.
Good too that the duo are not afraid to tilt at a few topical windmills like religion on ‘Adam & Eve (A Secular Hymn)’ and ‘Vox Pops’, how we are led be the media – ‘Free to think – exactly what we’re told to think.’ Independent thinking wrapped in a jolly melody, can’t argue with that.
I am running out of superlatives for this band, save to say buy this album as it will be one of the best pop albums you’ll hear all year, and then buy another few copies for your friends. An album of the year or any year for that matter. ****1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
UK dates 2016
Thursday May 12th Iron Road, Evesham http://www.wegottickets.com/event/353169
Friday May 13th Esquires, Bedford http://www.seetickets.com/event/the-dowling-poole/bedford-esquires/966310
Saturday May 14th The Borderline London http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/YGB1405N
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