With three lauded self-releases already, your first label release – as is the case with the latest Wille & The Bandits release Steal – the impulse to play it safe may be tempting. Not enticing enough apparently. Steal is an out-and-out rocker of an album that’s been spliced, diced and spiced with more of the unexpected than a Roald Dahl Fan Fest.
Wille Edwards’ unique, gravelly lyrics are an absolute joy. His grip on the stylistics on each of the 9 tracks here sliding and changing, providing a resonance and cadence that is – at times – astonishing. Then there is the majesty of his slide guitar. Miles Away gets things rolling. A catchy tub-thumper that brings with it a bright golden glow along the way with tight knit harmonised vocals in the background, you can almost see the crowd clapping along in unison.
With Matt Brooks on all things – quite literally – bass and Andy Naumann powering things along from behind the kit, there is a depth here that exudes a well founded confidence honed from hours on the road supporting the likes of Deep Purple, Wilko Johnson and Joe Bonamassa.
The chilled out, mellow tones of Scared of the Sun initially smacks a little of Stiltskin until it grows into something else altogether. A beautifully rounded composition evoking fear and excitement at every switch, harbouring shades of late Floyd and a dash of Marillion in its makeup but nevertheless with a completely original motif that’s difficult to beat.
Atoned is a power fest, rigged to the max of let-hair-down rhythm and almost electro rhythms that pulse and throb as though plugged directly into the nearest cyclone. Superb too, though for different reasons, is 1970. A gleeful look back over the shoulder to that which has passed, here’s a song born in the classic mould that’s been freshly sprayed and polished to its gleaming finest.
Dave Williams’ stripped back, no frills engineering allows the natural flavour and poise of each cut breathing space so that, in the final analysis, Steal becomes steel in its strength, power and ability to captivate from the moment ‘play’ is pressed. Wonderful stuff indeed.
Wille & The Bandits
Other Editions: MP3 Download
20 January, 2017
Scared of the Sun