Maturity is what’s stamped all over Aaron Keylock’s much anticipated debut album, Cut Against The Grain. The rip roaring, yet labyrinthine opener All The Right Moves sets the scene beautifully for that which is to follow and never at any stage does the album disappoint.
A riff driven behemoth that has smacks of Arctic Monkeys, yet steers around and comes to a breathtaking stop in front of a monument to Lynyrd Skynyrd quite magnificently. The roundedness of the track is all encompassing, yet truly innovative and original sounding, thanks in no small part to the teenager’s impeccable artistry.
What’s also clear is that playing support to some of the biggest names in the industry old and new – Keylock boasts slots with Wilko Johnson, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Alice Cooper amongst many of those he has been on the road with – has honed his holistic focus to that which is free and ultimately refreshing.
Down is a fun filled, jam fest filled with cheek and charisma, whereas Falling Again – its slide guitar sweeping through as an undertone – and Spin The Bottle are both songs guaranteed to get toes tapping at home and audiences bouncing on the auditorium floor.
The moody, sultry double-edged Try shows brilliantly that there is more than good times Rock ‘n’ Roll to Aaron Keylock’s repertoire though. With its skilfully constructed lyricism, superbly controlled musicianship, wit and craft, its moodiness is almost Lennonesque in its make up, yet free of self-aggrandisement. The same can also be said of No Matter What the Cost. “The higher the mountain, the more the wind blows,” Keylock sings, and ain’t that the truth. Yet it is hard to foresee anything other than a crystal clear horizon for a young man already being touted amongst his peers as being one to watch.
Ultimately, Aaron Keylock’s Cut Against The Grain is a precocious, prodigious debut and a collection of 11 songs that more than delivers on the expectation.
Cut Against The Grain
Released: 20 January 2017
- All The Right Moves
- Medicine Man
- Falling Again
- Just One Question
- Against The Grain
- That’s Not Me
- Spin The Bottle
- Sun’s Gonna Shine
- No Matter What The Cost