STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 43595-12772 LABEL: Inpop 804147142223 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2008-05-12 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Paddy Hudspith
I'm in complete agreement with vocalist Joel Parisien when he claims that "it's difficult to classify our sound" but the band's self-coined "speakeasy gospel" tag is a useful one so let's start there. Newworldson derive their name from an awareness that their musical roots tap into a heritage ("gospel and blues becoming jazz, rock and hip-hop" - Parisien again) which is thoroughly American, hence the New World reference. Notably the fusion of these different styles began in earnest in speakeasies, underground bars notorious for the illegal sale of alcohol in Prohibition-era America but famous also for riotous and energetic music. It's this spirit of "dangerous" eclecticism delivered direct to the punter wherever he may be found, that Newworldson invoke when they describe what they're about. They've come up with a hearty, accessible and irresistibly groovy concoction brimming over with soul and spirit, recapturing the energy and excitement which heralded the short-lived swing music renaissance of bands like The W's in the late '90s. Nothing flashy, nothing fancy, just sincere music with an upfront message played by talented guys on real instruments, with a grin! So whether they are tearing through "Empty Heart" or the title track like the proverbial freight train, or slowing things down for "Babylon Is Gonna Fall" and the late-night blues of "Sweet Holy Spirit", Newworldson are never less than totally compelling. Despite a couple of weaker songs towards the back end of the disc, this is one of the strongest label debuts I've heard in a long time, and fan-favourite "Working Man" and the Stevie Wonder-esque "Down From The Mountain" certainly hit the spot with me. Can't wait to see them live.
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