Horse Party - Horizons

REPEAT Records [Release date 01.04.16]

Bury St Edmunds three-piece rockers, fronted by guitarist/singer Ellie Langley have been getting plenty of plaudits over the past 12 months from the likes of 6music, Radio One, and Radio X.

Formed in 2012 when Langley and bass/keyboardist Seymour Quigley met drummer Shannon Hope, a string of self-released singles and EPs ensued, followed by a well-received debut album Cover Your Eyes (although it ran to only 8 tracks and just over 30 minutes).

Horizons cleverly brings together the 12 tracks that have featured on the band’s singles and EPs released during 2015, and throws in one unreleased track for good measure (‘For All I Know’).

Minimalist production and sparse playing, driving rhythms and with the intensity of PJ Harvey, it’s an impressive effort and easy to see why the band would be popular amongst festival goers and almost inevitable for a spot on the next series of Later…

Probably of more interest to those in between 20 and 30, than the GRTR! baby boomer generation. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

Eliza Neals - Breaking And Entering

ELIZA NEALS  Breaking And Entering
EH records [Release date 15.04.16]

Pairing up with fellow Detroit player, blues guitarist Howard Glazer, Eliza Neal delivers paint stripping performance on her latest release.

I was little worried on the acoustic opening stomp ‘Detroit Drive’, that we were in for a Seasick Steve-type set.  But the raw, electrified twelve bar blues title track puts that misdemeanour right.  And from thereon in the pace rarely slackens throughout this high energy set.

Recorded at vintage analogue studios, Breaking And Entering is unashamed ‘back to basics’ blues/rock with Neals’ gritty, whisky-soaked vocals very much from the Janis Joplin ‘school of rock’.  She’s probably the rock chick thatwe all secretly hoped Joss Stone would turn out to be.

Kid Rocks guitarist Kenny Olson features on a couple of tracks adding a splash of southern rock style to ‘You’, and ‘Southern Comfort Dreams’.  If there’s a complaint, the material is very ‘bog standard’ despite the quality of the playing.  A top notch producer like David Tyson (Alannah Myles) could probably have pulled a whole lot more out of it and fashioned into one hell of an album.

But as it stands, Breaking And Entering fails to make it over the line.  As far as the vocals go though, there’s only one way to describe them:  ‘raunchy’.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley

Eliza Neals plays UK dates 5-12 May 2016

Christa Couture - Long Time Leaving

Black Hen Music [Release date 20.05.16]

I can do little better here than to echo the words Couture’s PR company have highlighted from my review of her last album (The Living Record, 2013) to promote the Canadian singer songwriter’s latest release:

‘With a vulnerable vocal style not a zillion miles removed from that of Tori Amos, and an eclectic range of styles  from country, folk, Cajun and roots to country rock  it’s a set that fans of female singer songwriters who sit just left of centre  the likes of Amos, Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette  would be well advised to explore.’

Those sentiments remains equally true of Long Time Leaving where Couture continues to seamlessly flit across the genres like a grieving butterfly.  Coming on the back of a relationship break-up, it’s a remarkably upbeat affair.  But then considering the personal tragedies that have littered this young woman’s life, heartache is a relatively modest loss.

Quirky, kooky, whimsical, call it what you will, Long Time Leaving is another strong offering that sees Couture take a tentative step towards the mainstream.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley

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Power Plays w/c 8 August 2022 (Mon-Fri)
BORN LOST Take Time (Mouthpiece) (Revolver Records)
JAIME KYLE Driving With The Brakes On (Conquest Music)
SCARLET DORN Born To Suffer (SPV Recordings)
HOLDING ABSENCE Coffin (Sharptone Records)
TYRANNOSAURUS NEBULOUS Get Some (Echoed Past Records)
KROOKED TONGUE When The Beaches Bleed (indie)
SKYPILOT Knifed On The Beach (The Distortion Project)

Featured Albums w/c 8 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 LESSMAN VOSS Rock Is Our Religion (Atomic Fire Records)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. Force Majeure (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 THE SLAMBOVIAN CIRCUS OF DREAMS A Very Unusual Head (indie)

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