FIND MY WAY HOME - The Bresslaws (Twenty Stone Blatt)
It's said you should never judge a book by its cover and the same goes for records. The image on the front of this one makes a clear statement and it's one that says: "Great Moments in British Accountancy". Of course, the best music isn't played by fashion mannequins. The Bresslaws will never live the lives of Paris models but they are the genuine rock and roll article.
Hailing from the Medway area in Kent - a fertile garage rock breeding ground that spawned Thee Milkshakes, the Buff Medways and Billy Childish -The Bresslaws are guitar and organ-driven Mod/rock. Much like The Prisoners, another band to make their mark in the Medways Towns, there's a muscular rhythm section at their heart - which is usually a prime consideration for any rock and roll band. Importantly, guitarist Gav Davies isn't afraid to mix his tones.
Opener "You Know" and "The Hangman" are abject rockers, but the elegantly cool pause-for-breath, "Hazy Day", sounds like the Small Faces with Stevie Marriott stepping outside to have a smoke and a pint. Which is not to under-play Andy Harding's vocals in The Bresslaws scheme of things, but he's more a singer than a wailer. Melodically so.
There are two covers and both are keepers; "Stepping Stone" covers its tracks with some chunky guitar parts and "Lie Detector" would give its writer, Mr Childish, a run for his pence. There aren't too many bands outside his immediate circle that I can recall who've tackled Old Mr Prolific on record (except himself of course) and The Bresslaws did a particularly fine job of it. I can't think of too many bands named after actors from "Carry On" movies either.
The Bresslaws also write some pretty damn fine songs of their own, with the organ-dependent title track and the swelling but fulsome vocal harmonies of "Judgement Day" marking them as two of their finest. On the latter, guitarist Davies and keyboardist Rene Petrovic lock horns before a step-down and the results are pleasing.
"The Truth Of It" is a platform for Petrovic to show off and he doesn't waste his chance.
This is The Bresslaws' second album and that makes me think I need to chase down their first. "Find My Way Home" is on mighty fine Scottish label Twenty Stone Blatt. That should help you track it down. - The Barman
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