(3 / 5)
Second album from UK artist PM Warson – a pleasing nine-track offering of seven self-penned originals and a very nice cover.
50s and 60’s r&b and mod grooves, as authentic as it comes, and unashamedly retro in its footprint.
The single, “(Don’t) Hold Me Down”, served as London-based Warson’s breakout release. The blend of Brit-edged garage r’n’b and Latin soul, with a girl group chorus that had developed as a key extension of his live sound, proved a winning formula for record collectors a while back (that is not a track on this album).
The independent pressing sold out within a couple of days, and it began to spin at clubs from Toronto to Barcelona, its value briefly skyrocketing on a collector’s site. The song was later picked up by Fred Perry to underscore their ‘Soul Boy’ short, further establishing PM Warson‘s presence on the UK soul scene.
Having teamed up with German label Légère Recordings in 2020, PM Warson released the organ-led “Every Day (Every Night)” on 45, backed by Ashford-Simpson-Armstead‘s classic “I Don’t Need No Doctor”, which earned critical acclaim.
The collaboration with the label continued into 2021, with his debut LP “True Story”, and now this sophomore long player. Produced and mixed by PMW who supplies lead vocals, guitars, organ and electric piano. He is joined by eight players and four backing singers.
Second track in, infectious 60s r&b stomper is a superb cover of Holland, Dozier, Holland’s “Leaving Here”. Vibes of The Yardbirds, The Animals and recalling smoky nights at such swinging 60s London joints such as The Flamingo, The Marquee and Speakeasy.
Ol’ PM knows how to nail a groove. Previous covers of this song – PM gives us two versions here, Part 1 & Part 2 – include The Who, Motorhead, The Isley Brothers, Pearl Jam and The Strypes. Be assured, Mr Warson’s version maintains the standards of those previous covers for sure.
“Game Of Chance (By Another Name)” sounds like a shoo-in for a David Lynch movie soundtrack. “Out Of Mind” has that Spaghetti Western sound.
All in all, this release is perhaps akin to the kind of treatment mega-producer Mark Ronson would give to this kind of material. It is a very impressive set from an impressive rising star of the UK soul scene. More please…..
By Graham Morrison
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’