Vibrations Reviews May 2011 Issue 18

Mondo Cane – Do It (Demo)

When you list Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr as your influences you are setting the bar very high. Fortunately for Mondo Cane, such comparisons are indeed justified. Both ‘Do It’ and ‘Popular View’ perfectly capture the feeling of youthful disillusionment, controlled in short bursts of fury. Crank it up.

Resonance (Demo)

It’s rare that a band chooses a name that simultaneously describes their best and worst quality.  ‘Shapes’, ‘Shaman’ and ‘Addictions’ all offer reflections of 70s classic rock; not necessarily a bad thing, but only if you can get past that it’s all been done before.  Harmless nostalgia, but too safe for some

Jamie Evans (Demo)

Not an album apparently, instead a selection of songs from his 50 strong repertoire. Potato / potatoe. Pretension aside, a superb offering.  First track ‘Walk Away’ is particularly memorable, with shades of U2, whilst ‘Butterflies’ is a stirring finale. Does plod along a bit too slowly midway though.

Roger Davies – Live In Concert, Volume 1 (Album)

I’ll be honest, upon approaching this “selection of songs inspired by his enduring affection for his native Yorkshire” I was expecting the worse.  Not because of the subject matter; myself having lived in Yorkshire my entire life, but for fear of limited ambition. Dubbed ‘The Yorkshire Songwriter’, I could feel my muscles cringe as I nervously pressed play.

To my surprise, what I found instead was an equally sincere and entertaining tribute to everything from ‘Brighouse On A Saturday Night’ to ‘Huddersfield Town’. Think a less wacky Mik Artistik, accompanied with simple acoustic rhythms and a lot less straws.

Whilst the aforementioned tracks will naturally bring a smile to those familiar with the areas, efforts such as ‘Northern Trash’ and ‘Nightclubbin’ go a step further – with oberservations on popular culture that surpass regional boundaries.

However, as I’d feared Davies’ charm does start to wear thin by the end of this 11 track offering. There’s no denying his Yorkshire accent can carry many a pleasant melody, but once you’ve heard one track, you’ve heard them all. The cover of ‘This Land Is Your Land’ feels particularly weak, even if judging by the audience’s response it is a crowd pleaser on the live circuit.

Davies may not be West Yorkshire’s answer to Richard Hawley, Billy Bragg or even Frank Turner just yet; lacking the subtlety and musicianship of the former, political awareness of Bragg, and sheer charisma of the latter, but there’s plenty to enjoy here. I just won’t be eagerly anticipating Volume 2.

Watch Northern Trash

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