STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 164789-25284 LABEL: Bones Music Group FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Ian Webber
Whilst much of the talk around this release will centre on lead singer Martin Smith and the next stage of his musical journey, this debut release from the ex-Delirious? frontman and his new band has so much more to offer. Having started in low key fashion, Army Of Bones has developed into an emotionally charged rock outfit, primed with all the tools to take on the mantle of stadium rockers. Already they have been compared to Royal Blood and Foals. But though influences of each can be heard in the 10 tracks here, Henry Marsden's driving bass along with Martin Smith's powerful, yet emotive vocals add their own twist to the biting rock formula. Ably supported by Jonny Bird's guitar washes and some tight rhythms from Reuben Harsant, the album opens with a haunting riff that could have been stripped from an early Cure album. "Don't Be Long" sets the tone with spacious soundscapes and artist phrasing. The fuzzy bass of "Dead In The Water" is full of current radio friendly hooks that worm their way under your skin as you are swept along with the band through a range of mature tracks. The real triumph of this collection is the vulnerability found in the lyrics that are full of spiritual imagery. "Love Song For The City" is intense but also exhilarating, full of cloud bursting crescendos and reflective questioning. Produced by Gethin Pearson these cuts fizz with freshness and crystal clear tones adding to all the other elements included in the recording to make a very special release indeed. Debut albums of this quality and maturity come along very rarely and are not to be missed.
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