This is hard, dark and uncompromising – Blues at its most profound and quite irresistible. A touch of gospel soul in the tales give it an air of truth.

Durham’s first album, ‘The Shovel vs The Howling Bones’. was one of the best debuts I have heard but this is taking the strengths of that album and injected an element of humanity as well as proclaiming the darkness of the human soul and when that is combined with his stated intention “recorded using only the cheapest ‘instruments’ and most percussive household items we could find …” you get the aforementioned dark and hard Blues.

Durham plays slide guitar under his shouted vocals but this time around his vocals are more musical and there is a touch of humour in a few of the tracks that sets off his Texas drawl wonderfully.

The opener sets a great standard; ‘Ballad of a Prodigal Son’ consists of a vocal over a thunderous slow beating drum before hitting the height with a deranged guitar howling with distortion takes over – a story in three chapters in 2 and a half minutes.
‘Sinner’ is even more dark and more desperate hitting you squarely between the eyes with his intensity.
The humour kicks in with ‘Annie Departee’ – “A story about a girl who can’t stop killin’ men” – ups the tempo and adds to the horror show with a spoken part that could be by the great C. R. Avery.

The stories keep coming and the playing and the singing get looser and more raw, all to the good.

This is an album that needs to be experienced and enjoyed. He is setting a terribly high standard for the rest to follow but if he stands alone then this is a monument to talent and ingenuity.

Bloody marvellous!



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