It is back to business as usual for the local reviews in The Ocelot Magazine. Here is May 2014’s Effort, headed by the brilliant August List and Greasy Slicks. Could barely squeeze a rizla between these two records!
The August List – High Town Crow (EP)
4.5/5 Record Of The Month
Latest “one from the back of the sofa” as this came out last year. But it is a belter of a record and I am glad I found it. Think White Stripes go acoustic, as they blend country and blues with acoustica and folk and their own piece of magic. The songs stagger along as if they are unsure where they are going, always on the verge of collapsing inwardly but somehow making it to the end in jammed out perfection. Clever, and it makes it a very engaging record that sucks you in to its depths, revealing layer upon layer of sound and emotion as you travel through the songs, despite the Spartan nature of the recording.
Devizes based songstress with what I believe to be her debut EP. If so, this is a good solid start as Kirsty displays a good ear for a cute melody and has written some pretty acoustic pop songs. What also works in her favour is that there is more than just voice and guitar going on, with subtle extra instrumentation / percussion and vocals that adds increased depths without burying the song. However, there is nothing groundbreaking here and unless she develops something with a bit more uniqueness she may find herself stuck on the local circuit.
Something very different from Swindon, The Automaniacs bill themselves as Psychedelic Blues Rock. Which is about right with plenty of Pink Floyd vibes in this record, and with track titles like “Jack Slips into Jill but it’s not her he’s thinking of” or the even weirder “Daddy it feels like there’s stones in my gums” you are left with no illusions. Strap in, put all thoughts of normality aside and enjoy the ride, for that is what you will get, as the music picks you up and carries you off. And for an instrumental record, this is surprisingly engaging and exciting stuff.
This is an EP that goes straight for the jugular with some superb stomping, sleazy, scuzzy blues rock blended with plenty of other rootsy goodness. Which is very surprising as the last thing I saw frontman Jack do was the pristine indie of Napoleon In Rags. But the three tracks on offer here rattle on with some whiskey drenched vocals, fuzzed up slide guitars and pounding rhythms until final track Wild Ones, which is perhaps the most exciting track, more laid back, anthemic yet mellow and showcasing a fantastic voice that makes hairs stand, cracked with honesty and character. This track alone shows that there is plenty more to come from these guys – and they were so close to record of the month!