Zeelley Moon Music 2017
Well-tempered debut by British band who may be prone to drama yet turn it into an aural spectacle.
Placing their first record a book-type packaging, this group insist they’re serious about the craft of music-making, and as a vehicle for Patrick Molesworth’s exercises the project’s inagural offering won’t fail to impress – in a somewhat reserved, English way. “The world’s getting weary of my world weary voice,” he intones in a manner that should evoke Steve Winwood and Gary Brooker but, once the listener is pulled into the artist’s world, such weariness will result in a refreshing swirl of tunes.
Not necessarily piano-based, it’s undoubtedly a keyboard player’s record: the album driven by someone who’s able to run the gamut from boogie which is the root of instrumental opener “Itchy Feet” to progressive passages which fill the likes of “Feel So Real” – the latter piece stricken with a fragile, Latin-tinged vibe, while fusion oozes out of the brisk “See Me Fly” and breezy funk out of “Weight Of The World” to reflect the futility of a human effort. Birds’ chirps and crowds chat add cinematic aspect to these songs, even though symphonic elegance of “Smile” – where organ and guitar join in the soulful flow to solemnly skip the light fandango – or a soft, caressing, breezily orchestrated pop frill of “Living On The Water” don’t need outer decorations.
There’s a sense of urgency in “The Tick Tock” that is lucid and alluringly theatrical with its harmony solos and a choir, and in the ripple that rolls “Tricks And Tragedy” toward elation yet slows the pace down to render the piece too elegiac until Tony Dubinski’s six strings soar to the sky and the drift is sped up again, but Molesworth doesn’t shy away from spiking up “Designer Crime” with social critique. Still, the band are at their best, when given a chance to rock contemplatively and gently, as the majestic acoustic lace and orchestral wave behind “Out Of The Blue” could suggest, so their next album must project more restlessness. As for the self-titled start, it’s serious, indeed.