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JOHNNY ACE AND THE RUDEBOY by STORMCROWS
Sounding like they’ve emerged from the darkest backwaters of the bayou, this brand new Notts/Irish-based band is surging up to the surface with their own slick-sounding blend of rebellious classic rockabilly and an old school southern blues twang.
What can I say, I’m a big fan of the sounds and aesthetics of 1930-1960’s America and Stormcrows are bringing it all back and packaging it under a uniquely Northern (from the midlands and upwards, that is) vibe. The singer’s Americanised accent is the only thing stopping me from making the Arctic Monkeys comparison although I can hear some strong similarities there.
I’m down for any tune that kicks off with some winding guitar finger sliding before descending into a punk-rockabilly double-bass line that makes you feel like you’re surfing on the crest of a tidal wave pompadour made entirely out of thick petrol and hair grease.
If mosh pits existed 70 years ago, this is what they’d sound like. In fact, it feels like Stormcrows are selling the rhythm and blues swing of The Stray Cats et al. back to the 50’s but fused with all of the sounds and subgenres which stemmed from it to this day.
Hints of the sounds that shaped the early Beatles, the Stones to punk and brit rock can be heard in ‘Jonny Ace & the Rudeboy’, a song which seems striking for its simplicity (in terms of lyricism) but which packs a punch and leaves us with high expectations after less than three minutes.
Apparently Stormcrows have been working on a record over the lockdown and this is just a taster of things to come! Keep it coming fellas!
– Review by Liam MacGregor-Hastie
HERE FOR LONG by WILL CRUMPTON
‘Here for long’ is the debut single from Nottingham based artist Will Crumpton, for his new project ‘Orton’. He combines his love of artists such as Interpol, Tiger Jaw and Turnover into his own style with emotional, catchy lyrics accompanying amazing instrumentals. They remind me strongly of Kevin Devine’s unique sound and vibe, considerably displaying his skills with a wide variety of instruments and yet recording the vast majority of it in his home studio and the drums being recorded at JT soars.
Will is one of the most talented musicians I know of, with his history with music being at the front of Nottingham’s music scene, working with DIY music venues and other music projects. I’ve seen Will play a handful of times with his previous band ‘Brown Lion Zoo’ and their most memorable was their album launch at JT soar, supported by ‘RedFaces’. He undertook the role of playing guitar not only for his bands set, but stood in to play for all of RedFaces as well.
When ‘Orton’ was created I was excited to see what Will was capable of doing, especially as he does everything himself and from what I saw of him previously, I knew he had the skill and talent to pull this off. ‘Here for Long’ is proof ‘Orton’ will definitely go far and I can’t wait to see what comes next. ‘Here for Long’ is out October 30th!
Review by Ryan Wheatley
ONES FOR THE ALBUM…
SHOES DROPPING (L.P) by JESSIE WAGNER
Well, we already knew that we were in the thick of a country music comeback and this album by Jessie Wagner is another testament to that fact. On her debut album Shoes Dropping, she manages to use the profoundly nostalgic string-plucked and soft, shuffling drums of the genre to lay bare her world-weary and life-weary pain, frustration and hope.
Moving through the album we can piece together the puzzling tapestry of the long, undulating journey which has led her to this heart-felt and powerful work. I was only asked to review the title track but the LP really does need to be listened to in its entirety for her story to be fully understood and for her virtuosity to be fully recognised. Track by track, Wagner demonstrates that she can operate on all gears, from the delicate soul of love ballads such as “Lovers Lullaby”, “Biggest Mistake” and to the horn-heavy funk of “End of Time” and my fav “Passing me by”.
Jessie talks to us about her experience in dealing with relationships made turbulent by medical emergencies and the need to almost have to sacrifice her career, her dream, her essence in order to dedicate herself to caring for others. This may be a triumphant testament to her own resilience but it’s nested in the deep and intimate sorrow that she carries with her to this day.
In short, this is Soul Country. Wagner lives in the Venn-diagram intersection between these two genres, both of which are known for their woeful yet high-energy vocal delivery and heel-stomping, driving rhythms. Her many years of touring with some of the industry’s greats such as Lenny Kravitz, Chic, Duran Duran, Kid Rock and most recently Little Steven and The Disciples Of Soul really shows in her confidence to step up to the mic and lay it all out on the table. The country-rock influences of Kravitz and Little Steven are particularly prominent.
I would have to say that, stylistically at least, Shoes Droppin doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to the table. Much of the instrumentation, chosen genres and lyrical content is not something that we’ve never heard before. In fact, it’s more of a nostalgic harkening back to the comfortable sounds that we are all familiar with but might not have heard in a few years. Her influences and collaborators are certainly not spring chickens and that might be reflected in the music here.
This is hot and spicy soul food with a side of cool country ranch. A very promising debut release, I look forward to hearing how Jessie builds on this.
Review by Liam MacGregor-Hastie
RED JACKET (L.P) by SUPERHOOCH
Sweet baby Jesus!
I’m five tracks, two coffees and twenty push-ups into this LP and this is already proving to be a serious contender for my rock album of the year.
This album is a thing of beauty and I mean that in the most twisted, filthy and deranged way possible. It’s for that very reason – for its degenerate, debaucherous and distorted-to-high-heavens delightfulness – that I think this couldn’t be more on-brand for an I’m Not From London feature.
I mean, Jiminy Cricket! This album has not been designed for the listener to be sat at a computer while listening to it. I should be out there hitting things with sticks, pulling my neighbours marigolds out and throwing them at cyclists. I should be battling demonic toad demons in the psychedelic depths of my own soul or, at the very least, ceremoniously lighting fires in bins and dancing around them.
This 10-track tour de force is a work of labour and libido from Coventry-based psychedelic pirates Superhooch who sound more like they’ve emerged from the depths of the ocean whence they have lived for hundreds of years, patiently plotting their revenge and forging this sonic weapon of mass eruption to be unleashed on the world in 2020.
Saviours or satanists, you ask? Only time will tell, although probably a bit of both.
This record is so wonderfully varied although some common themes persist throughout. Straight from the top, Red Jacket kicks off with the self-titled stumbling, foot-stomping, disoriented rambling of a drunken sailor who’s seen some serious shit during his time at sea. I just love those funky high guitar scratches that play on your ears in tandem with the persistent, distorted drudgery of the bass line.
That doomy distorted bass is relentless throughout the record and it’s exactly the kind of sound that we fucking love here at INFL. It’s the kind of sound that gets under your skin and under whatever it is that’s under your skin and gets to the very core of your being, passing through your nerve-endings and propelling your fist through the heart of the giant kraken that you’re, naturally, fighting for your life against.
Ok, I’m using a lot of nautical references here but I’m sure Superhooch wouldn’t find too much offence in that. One of my favourite tracks off the album The Bar perfectly captures the atmosphere of an old, Irish sailor’s bar with characters reminiscent of something like Old Greg on crack. And that’s a Mighty Boosh reference.
From Dropkick Murphys to Fu Manchu and passing by The Stooges, it wouldn’t be too difficult to pinpoint the bands that influenced Superhooch’s sound, tone and character but it’s also clear that the band have shown up with their very own signature voice which, although timeless, is in line with the existential mood of the time.
The 21st century mantras of doubt and doom that we hear throughout the record such as “I know where to go: nowhere” and “I’m always moving but never going anywhere” really hit home in my mind and, against the backdrop of some tasty filth from the four-piece band, provide us with the relatable and visceral catharsis that we all need in these times.
We all have the potential to be animals and, every now and then, there comes the time to let that monster out. It’s music like this which helps give us that release.
Thanks for that Superhooch!
Now I’m going to go sit in the foetal position for an hour to recover.”
Review by Liam MacGregor-Hastie