Billy Penn's Brother & The Telephone Church - Ruckus In Real Time

Monday 1st February 1993
Billy Penn's Brother & The Telephone Church - Ruckus In Real Time
Billy Penn's Brother & The Telephone Church - Ruckus In Real Time

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Richard Nicholson, better known as Billy Penn's Bother, has long been a favourite of CR. His is an impassioned voice of and anger, speaking with all the power of the prophet while the Western world entertains itself to death and the church looks on in incomprehending irrelevancy. Now Richard/Billy has forsaken (momentarily or temporarily I know not which) his folkey acoustic in favour of a hard-edged rock band which a glance at the CD inlay will reveal to be Lies Damned Lies. Has the transformation worked? I'd say definitely. The band intuitively find the right feel and groove to a set of songs many of which are dark in imagery and theme, and at times I was reminded of Dylan during his 'Blood On The Tracks" era. In fact, there's a Dylan song on this set, a stark revival of "Is Your Love In Vain". But it's Mr Nicholson's own tangled, jarring images of urban hopelessness and pain which dominate here. Songs about obsessive human love but little that hints at transcendent hope. Maybe that's why this is such an uncomfortable listening experience.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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