Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: Preachers Son - Love, Life & Limb

Preachers Son is the brainchild of Kila bassist Brian Hogan and former Engine Alley drummer Emmaline Duffy-Fallon. Their debut album 'Love Life & Limb' is a fast paced mix of turbo charged swamp rock with nods to alternative renegades such as Nick Cave & Lou Reed. Hogan has put aside the bass to front Preachers Son on both vocals and guitar. The vocals are delivered mostly in spoken word format. They bare resemblance to the aforementioned Cave and Reed as well as alternative 80's front men like Andrew Eldritch and Wayne Hussey. There is even a resemblance to Bono on several tracks.

26 Years starts the album off with a dirty Jon Spencer Blues Explosion style guitar blast, before we are diverted to unexpected places through the chorus "I don't really believe you when you say you don't care" would comfortably fit into any U2 album. Born Another Time is a dirty swamp blues stomp panting sexually between Nick Cave, The Sisters of Mercy and Personal Jesus, and also contains some excellent tremolo picking by Hogan.

The voice of Emmaline Duffy-Fallon turns Book of love into Beauty and the Beast for grown ups. The sparse noir arrangement is the first of several tracks build on atmosphere, rather than bombast. The Jarvis Cocker-esque sexual paranoia of single X For Sandra-the best of several duets on the album-Is a bobbing blues boogie, sprinkled with some Bowie magic in the choruses "And this is the time that makes me, keeps making me struck with wonder."

This Time of Life has a white soul era Bowie vibe with funky bass running head first into classic rock riffage. On Lipstick Gavin Friday's guest vocal is cast over a classical landscape mixed with avant garde Diamond Dog diversions for clashes with "bimbo bitches." The albums low point arrives with the over cooked cover of Son of A Preacher Man. It's as ill advised as the Jack White-Alicia Keys, James Bond combo.

It's as if an eerie voice-over from the villain in a Western movie gets things back on track with Rain. The words of wisdom are set against accomplished classical and jazz acoustic guitar phrases. Hogan's voice has its second Bono moment on Heaven For The Moment a mix between Albatross style lead guitar parts and Faraway So Close. It is certainly one of the albums highlights especially when it's "staring down the isles of heaven or hell."

It all goes a bit Led Zep for the eastern tinged Should Have Been Gone. A barrage of instruments are underpinned by a pulsating bass riff. This is the albums only nod towards Hogan's traditional roots. But don't let that put you off its more Aleister Crowley than Fionn Mac Cumhaill. Lost My Faith is a rockabilly firestorm, which Imelda May could only dream of producing, complete with super fast wailing guitar solos and on point horns.

This is certainly the most commendable sidebar from Kila any of its members have embarked upon. Thank God Hogan had the sense to stay away from amateurish TG4 X-Factor style judging panels and focus on the creation of music instead. ' Love Life & Limb' is a bold move by Hogan, but he who dares wins.

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