The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.
The Pigeon Detectives, "Broken Glances" (Dance to the Radio)- The Pigeon Detectives made an immediate impact on the nation's consciousness when their debut recording, "Wait For Me," soared up to the heady heights of the number 3 slot in the UK album chart in 2007, and after a decade of unrelenting success the Leeds indie -rockers now unveil their fifth eclectically inspired long-player for your delectation. "Broken Glances" represents quite a musical departure from previous Pigeon Detectives offerings, with a much more reflective and emotionally charged approach than usual underpinning fine tracks such as "Postcards," "Wolves" and the relatively unadorned "Falling in Love."
Marcus Malone, "A Better Man" (Redline Music)- Malone's eagerly anticipated follow-up to 2014's "Stand Or Fall" showcases the Detroit born singer and guitarist's latest batch of muscular blues based rock songs. The UK based musician may have begun his recording career as a heavy metal performer almost two decades ago but Marcus is now firmly steeped in the spirit of the blues, and discerning punters would be well advised to lend an ear to the soulful charms of "Feelin' Bad Blues" or the gritty "Philomene," which finds the excellent Sean Nolan channelling the spirit of legendary Pirates guitarist Mick Green to compelling effect.
Courtney Marie Andrews, "Honest Life" (Loose Music)- Probably best known these days as Damien Jurado's lead guitarist, Courtney Marie Andrews has been hailed as a "phenomenal songwriter" by no less a luminary than Ryan Adams, and "Honest Life" displays many of the qualities which have earned her so much critical acclaim during the past few years. Courtney's melancholy creations are a delightful throwback to the pure country rock purveyed by the likes of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris during the early seventies, with "How Quickly Your Heart Mends" and the touching title track emerging as understated highlights.
Dick Dale, "Live on the Santa Monica Pier" (Rock Beat)- This majestic vinyl offering captures legendary surf guitarist Dick Dale in his natural element as he regales his enthusiastic Californian audience with the cream of his illustrious back catalogue. The visceral 1996 recording finds Dale in typically fiery form, with the left handed musician wielding his trusty Fender Stratocaster upside down as he launches into the trailblazing instrumental workouts which had helped to make his name during the pre Beatles era, including "Miserlou," "Shake'n' Stomp" and "Let's Go Trippin'," which the late great John Peel adopted as the theme tune for his Radio Four show, "Home Truths."