Published on June 26th, 2012 | by Ben Adsett0
The second full length effort from Cheltenham purveyors of country without the ‘O’ is Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun’s first release on Xtra mile and form the off you can hear the increase in budget behind the recordings. JLandTSS have previously self-released recordings through Cheltenham based label istaredthefire on a small budget.
The increase in budget has added a clean depth to the bands already accomplished sound. This depth adds a richer element to the overall sound without loosing the grit within both the music and from Jim’s individual voice.
The line up change since the bands first full-length release ‘Atlases’ has replaced the clever harmonies that characterised the release with a complicated guitar to cement the improved musicianship throughout the band. These guitar parts add posthardcore/postrock edges throughout the songs without loosing the harmonies that add emphasis to Lockey’s songwriting.
The song writing has a heavy political undertone and uses some beautifully crafted historical imagery all of which is expertly backed with deep bass lines and a clever combination between acoustic and electric guitar lines cleverly backed by tight complex drumming to create a near perfect balance throughout. This balance creates a record with a clear flow throughout with every track effortlessly moving into the next.
This evolution creates a truly special release, which combines the strong elements of Lockey’s song writing and individual vocals with a bigger, more accomplished musical backing. There has been an evolution towards the punk side of the folk punk sound the band have developed. This shift has added an evolution to the work of the band making a clear point in their discography which it will be interesting to see developed into a third album.
This country folk punk journey is charactarised by some cracking single candidates from ‘ A Song About Death’ and ‘England’s Dead’ to a clever reworking of ‘Wishing Well’ which was released as a brilliant free download in 2011 giving this full length release a perfect combination between singles and a free flowing piece of amazing music.
Second releases are often a massive stumbling block for a band particularly when you factor in moving to a larger label and I am extremely happy that JLandTSS have jumped this block and landed into a fantastic release.