Friday 20 November 2015
THE ROAD MILES ~ GOLD AND SHADOWS........ album review
"Demons" kicks off "Gold and Shadows"with a deeply atmospheric gothic blues that sees the bands two guitarists Georgie and Mike weaving a glorious tapestry of slides. licks and arpeggios around a backdrop of lightly brushed percussion and tastefully placed bass lines perfectly executed by the engine room of Argyris (drums) and Yannis (bass). Over this moody backdrop vocalist Afroditi lays her vocals, low, smokey and dare I say it sexy she coats the music with a dark delicious warmth of tone and quiet power. The combination of all of the above coupled with the fact that this was recorded "live" in the studio makes this one stunning performance.
"Crossroads" employs the same bluesy grooves but this time the dynamic is slightly more upbeat with the drums laying down some slightly celtic/tribal beats. The song references the crossroads that blues legend Robert Johnson is alleged to have met the devil and sold his soul for unbelievable talent and fame. Afroditi delivers the lines " Road worn suit, wicked smile, Papa stay by my side" slightly monotone thus giving the song a feeling of weary despair and resignation. After the vocals the song then shifts up another gear with the band grooving on a riff that then shifts again only this time into a more psychedelic area with the guitars trading solos and licks and the bass laying down some utterly delicious lines and runs.
"Story's Over" has a kind of Portishead feel in its early stages with heavily effected guitars and jazzy drumming setting a mood for Afroditi to croon an almost mantra type vocal over. Things change at the 1:56 mark when the band move into a more stoner/occult rock groove, the drums, bass and guitars laying down a solid wall of riffs, rhythms and solo's over which the singer repeats the lines "Your own self destruction, Imprisoned to attraction"
"Hey Ma" finds the band heading into stoner blues territory with a stop start riff that has more than a whiff of Jimmy Page about it. At 3:38 it is short sharp and to the point and very good.
"William Blake" closes the album with what is I assume an ode to William Blake the British poet/artist ( I could be very wrong here). Sonically sat within the occult genre yet still holding onto the reigns of the gothic blues horse they rode in on the band take the song on a series of journey's and moods with moments of psych ambience sitting side by side with gritty gnarly stoner/hard rock. It is at times heady psych, at times gnarly stoner/occult but at all times stunningly brilliant!
The band describe themselves as a southern gothic blues band and the "gothic" tag may put some people off, don't let it! These are some seriously good tunes no matter how you tag them.