(3 / 5)
Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be, but this album is unashamedly retro. A hefty dollop of 1970s bluesy, rootsy, powerful, Southern rock and more – a style that has come full circle and is back in vogue right now. There’s a clue here with track six, “1970,” which talks of love and peace. I thought that was the main theme of the previous decade? Pity it isn’t in 2017.
“Steal,” is this Cornish band’s fourth album. They released their debut album, “New Breed,” in 2010, “Breakfree”, two years later and “Grow,” in 2013. They have spent much of their time on the road, playing more than 200 shows a year, sharing the stage with the likes of Joe Bonamassa, Deep Purple, JJ Grey, Beth Hart and Wilko Johnson.
“Steal,” was recorded on Analogue tape and with all vintage gear, with the band playing live, and no digital skulduggery at all; the way they used to make rock and roll albums before computers got involved. Produced by Dave Williams at The Grange in rural Norfolk. All nine songs penned by the band.
Wille Edwards sings the lead vocal and plays electric and acoustic guitars, lap steel, Weissenborn and dobro. Matt Brooks plays five and six string bass, sings backing vocals and takes charge of the string arrangements. Andrew Naumann plays drums and percussion. Guest star Don Airey from Deep Purple plays Hammond organ on three cuts and keyboards on a fourth. His style is a good fit.
Other writers have said Wille’s gravel and sandpaper vocal sounds like Bob Seger. Not to me. I think he has his own sound. At first, you may think you have this album nailed and can easily sum it all up as Southern Rock. Partly correct, but there’s definitely more to it/them than that. There are several layers here you can peel back and discover more on each spin.
The material is all decent and rocks like a good un while also offering lighter acoustic moments. They are not reinventing the wheel or gonna be top of the charts any time soon, but nor would they claim to be. But it is a solid, well produced, well crafted, pleasing, even listen from a no-holds barred British rock band putting the power into power trio, with style. What Saturday nights and beer were made for.
By Simon Redley
UK & European tour dates
Feb 23 Old Fire Station Carlisle
Feb 24 St Boswells Live St. Boswells
Feb 25 Sneaky Petes Edinburgh
Feb 26 Mad Hatters Inverness
Feb 28 Birnam Arts Dunkeld
Mar 01 The Lemon Tree Aberdeen
Mar 02 Hug And Pint Glasgow
Mar 03 The Octagon Keighley
Mar 04 Red Car Citizens Club Redcar
Mar 10 Gloucester Guildhall Gloucester
Mar 11 The Malvern Cube Malvern
Mar 17 The Barrel House Totnes
Mar 18 Palladium club Bideford
Mar 19 Le Blues Autour Du Zinc Beauvais, France
Mar 23 The Bodega Nottingham
Mar 24 The Greystones Sheffield
Mar 25 The Matrix Grimsby
Mar 26 Top Secret Blues Festival Scarborough
Apr 01 Up Festival Liege, Belgium
Apr 14 Spirit of 66 Verviers, Belgium
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’