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Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Reviews: Mollie Marriott, Dorje, Ignu, The Weight (2017)

Mollie Marriott: The Truth Is A Wolf (Amadeus Music)

Mollie Marriott certainly has a surname that most of our readers will recognise, the daughter of  Small Faces/Humble Pie singer and guitarist Steve Marriott and Step-Daughter of Joe Brown, she has been performing since she was 15 with Oasis, Paul Weller, Joe Brown, Dennis Locorriere (Dr Hook), Mark Knopfler and Chas and Dave, she has always moved between rock and soul and her debut album continues with this stradling of the genres. Control the track that opens her debut The Truth Is The Wolf is a soulful number with a stomp-clap rhythm section, a bubbling Fender Rhodes, scintillating guitar playing and Mollie's raw but beautiful voice, you can hear she's a daughter of the blues and this smoky sound comes through on Broken which brings the blues into the 21st Century.

Again and it's followed by the smoldering title track which rocks up at it's end before the soul returns for Give Me A Reason. Marriott's vocals are majestic throughout at times fragile but at others with all the passion of the old blues howlers. She cites her influences as Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow and vocally she's got both of their gritty, robust vocal styles down, bringing an honesty to the music with deeply personal songs like Love Your BonesBroken, My Heaven Can Wait. Helpfully she's also managed to get a host of brilliant musicians and writers to co-write and play on this record, Sam Tanner, lead vocalist with Brother Strut, is especially vital to the record.

The Truth Is A Wolf
is a brilliant record, some times more R&B than rock and roll but the album is a musical melting pot with grunge, soul, R&B and even some alternative touches, it's a stunning record, I'm gutted I didn't pick this up earlier. 9/10     

Dorje: Centered And One (Invisible Hands Music)

Rob Chapman and his melo-technical rock crew return with their second EP Centered And One and similarly to their previous release it's a mix of styles that you'd expect from Dorje with tracks such as To Survive having the melodic complexity of Alter Bridge, Chapman giving his most impassioned vocal as Rabea Massaad let's rip a solo as good as any of Tremonti's. At 5 tracks it leaves you wanting more even though the songs are technical, with heavy hitters like the title track and slower burning orchestral Zero this EP is another feather in their collective caps with a thick grungy grooves
of Dave Hollingworth (bass) and Ben Minal (drums) pumping the likes of Flower Of Life. Dorje occupy that early 2000's sound of technically gifted musicianship playing angst ridden, heavy riffing rock. I'd say the only issue I have with this EP is that the production is a little quiet but other than that it's a great EP that will add more winners to Dorje's incendiary live set. 7/10

Ignu: Lightningflash Flintspark (Self Released)

Ignu are an odd one, the band's name is inspired by work of American writers from the 1950's Beat Generation especially Alan Ginsberg. It's their shared love for mysticism, Orient, Buddhism and artistic independence. The group consists of four friends; Cyryl Skiba (drums/percussion), David Condis y Troyano (bass), Jan Szege (guitar) and Lubosz Majewski (vocals). The Polish band's debut album Lightningflash Flintspark was recorded at Mandragora Studio and it's a fuzzed up trippy slab of alternative rock, the lyrics move between English and Polish but the grooves stay the same.

It's a jazz inflected sound, that twists and turns with progressive intent as Snow freaks out with psychedelic hard rocking that turns into slinky jazz track, then Best 'N' Blessed mixes 60's percussive rock n roll with modern heavy rock. The musicianship is excellent and the songs full of virtuosity but the record maybe a little too freaky for some, however if you open up your third eye and just loosen up daddio Ignu will keep you entertained for the eternity of their 7 track album. 7/10

The Weight: S/T (Self Released)

In 2015, the Austrian rock band The Weight released their debut-EP Keep Turning, 2 years later their debut album is packed to bursting with 70's inspired grooving hard rock, check out a track such as the smoldering, progressive Hammer, Cross & Nail and you'll see that The Weight have this style locked down to a driving bass/drum beat, some swanky, funky guitar lines and swirling hammond organs, they've got a hard rock heart with a psychedelic mind.

Songs such as the strutting Get Some, first single Trouble, the slide driven Rich Man's Pride all have a classic rock sound to them but with a modern bents similar to Wolfmother or Rival Sons. This Austrian band have pulled into Nazareth (The Band - Music History Ed) on a wave of proper rocking, frenzied drumming leads Money Ain't For Keeping but they slow for a torch song on A Good Thing. At so many points on this record The Weight reminded me of Grand Funk Railroad, which for me is a positive comparison as I bloody love Grand Funk, The Weight takes you on a trip with a modern retroism, music how it used to be and all the better for it. 8/10

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