Normally, in between random musings, occasional fiction and whatever else occurs to me, I review books on here by Indie authors. This being because as an Indie author myself I know how hard it can be to get reviews, and I like to think I know a modicum about good literature when I read it, what makes a good novel and what I can worthily recommend to other. That and to be frank it gives me something to write about apart from the random musings, short fiction and ‘begging letters’ trying to encourage people to read my own work :).
I also occasionally review other things but generally shy away from reviewing music for two reasons.
Firstly, because music taste is a very ecliptic thing and I am particularity ecliptic when it comes to my own. I have broad and occasionally odd tastes in music.
Secondly, because while I have talents in other areas I have the musical ability of a misshapen carrot after it’s been attacked by a rabid rabbit.
This is a sad thing in my opinion because I love music and musicians. It is not for want of trying either, I have two guitars in the house and occasionally twang away at them. I even took lessons way back in middle school, but like many things to become proficient at an instrument, let alone vaguely talented takes a lot of commitment, practise and work. Also importantly a basic degree of natural talent, the latter of which I lack.
As I said, however, I love and respect musicians both as people and for the talents they have.
I am also somewhat blessed to have known a few over the years.
Among them, a couple of friends that I have known for more than half my life are Dave and Jon, two of the founding members of a group of Bradford musicians going under the name of Nervous ‘Orse.
As find a pair of individuals as you are ever likely to meet, and through them, I have been equally blessed to meet Danny and Jake the two other members of the mighty ‘Orse. And finally I have been blessed to witness their group grow collectively over the last year or so, from playing small gigs at local Bradford watering holes to opening the Indie stage at the Bingley festival this summer, (sadly I missed the festival gig, but I hope to catch the next one.)
Living in Middlesbrough means a 140-mile round trip to see the band at local gigs, so I don’;t get to see them as often as I would like, but every time is a pleasure, and the band group tighter and just plain better every time I see them play.
As well as been blessed to know these musicians I am blessed to know Emily, the wife of Dave and quite possibly the ‘fifth Orseman’, or the gaffer as they call her. Because Emily is known to work hard to get them gig’s radio exposure and everything else that comes from been manager of the band, right down to working the concession stand and been chief cheerleader on the dance floor. She also encouraged me to write a review of the bands début Album.
She can be very forceful when it comes to asking fro reviews, for a start she smiles at you, in a way that suggests that not writing a review will cause that smile to go away. This would be a bad thing obviously. I am not sure why but I get the impression the band would agree that Emily not smiling is a bad thing ….. they fear her , I can see it in their eyes. She drives them to rehearse because to not do so would incur a frown ….
So anyway with the mild and utterly undeserved character assassination of ‘the gaffer’ out of the way and because I would have review it anyway, there follows the review of Where This Now Finds Us, the debut Album of Nervous ‘Orse. on +Widemouth records But first , listen to them yourself … ( go on take 3 minutes and twenty-four seconds out of your life to experience a little pleasure )
Back ? good , did you enjoy it , of course, you did.
That is the first single from the album, wasn’t its good 🙂
Okay, serious review time.
Nervous ‘Orse are collectively Dave McKinley on acoustic guitar, Jon Smith on electric , Danny Sapko on bass and Jacob Riley on drums. A familiar set up for a band. Two guitars, bass and drums is not an original set up let’s face it. It’s as tried and trusted as a formula as you can get in music. But the band are more than four instrument players, the band actually has eight instruments in use on ever track, the other four been the vocal cords of the band members,
While Dave may be lead vocalist on most tracks he is not alone on any of them, it is the collective harmonies of the four voices that really sets them apart as a band. Each of them not only can sing but does sing, and any of them could take the lead vocal on a track, and indeed do.
The harmonies of the voices are reminiscent of something you rarely get in modern bands, the kind of harmonies you got from the beach boys, but that doesn’t make them sound less fresh and new.
indeed, that’s the secret of the band , they are both fresh and new, and yet achingly familiar at the same time. Even if you have never heard them before you’ll find yourself drawn in as to an old friend in a new guise.
This is music at its best, tunes that stay in the mind, lyrics that catch you singing along as they hook you in. Simple songs that have depth, all the same, that ache with emotion and wisdom the way the best songs do.
You’ll print your own memories on them because that’s what we all do with good music. But that’s just it, this is an album on which you will imprint memories because that’s the kind of music the might ‘Orse make. Music for memories
Good memories that will be all the better for the music
Memories of smiles and laughter and the joy of life.
Another friend of mine said of them recently ( and I paraphrase only slightly )
“You and your kind are what makes life worth living for us all”
A sentiment that I find hard to decry.
So there you are.
A fine début album that you should listen to, buy , play and most importantly make memories with, and find yourself humming to when one of the songs gets stuck in your head first thing in a morning, Which will make your day a day of smiles and joy. Because that what good music does and this is damn fine music.
A final note, I shall never make a music journalist, any more than a musician. So I shall leave that to the professionals in future. Just as I do the music .
Buy it here , your inner self will love you for doing so…
Wide mouth records