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Album review

Holy Vessels 

Last Orders at the Marshall Arms

added: 21 Nov 2012 // release date: 12 Nov 2012 // label: Hello Babe!
reviewer: Andy Snipper

Holy Vessels - Last Orders at the Marshall Arms - Printable version
Cut this band and you will find a slew of influences that would amaze. There is straight country, country rock, Bluegrass and a wonderful sense of fun that just leaps out of the speakers at you – they ain’t half good musicians too.

From the opening ‘Golden Hair’ that reeks of skiffle and rockabilly (Skilfflbilly?) and has a strong touch of Merseybeat under the banjo I was captivated. The laugh in Frank Ryan’s voice rjust goes to emphasis the quality of the rest of his vocal performance.
Then you are into ‘Springtime Bloom’ – simply delicious country and one of the best numbers I’ve heard this season. The eerie Hammond and plodding beat of ‘Last Rebel Of The War’ shows that they have much more in their basket than straight country – this is well into Steve Earle country and the massive drumbeats really bring the war into the song along with the chanted background.
They go all electric on ‘Queen Of Alimony’ and they give it a real belt before the sixties pop of ‘Perhaps She Never Really Came’ or the dark and deeply unpleasant ‘Peeping Tom’ (brilliantly done nonetheless). The Monkee like ‘Jaycee’ – just another sublime piece of pop – leads into the almost psych ‘Fever’ with heavy Stones overtones on the sitar and a dark and oppressive feel – quite the best track on a fine album.

This is definitely one of my bids for debut of the year – a stone cracker.

The band are attempting to raise money to release the album via: http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/holyvessels

“Back in September last year we left town and headed to Cropredy, Oxfordshire, to make a record among the clean air and fresh grass of the country. We borrowed a battered old van and a drummer we’d never played with and drove everything we owned to a caravan on a farm to spend two stolen weeks recording the songs we’d spent nearly two years developing.
With the help of producers Iain Harvie (Del Amitri, Eileen Rose), and Jag Jago (The Maccabees, Ghost Of A Thousand) we managed to knock out an album without the involvement of big business, or even the smallest of labels – no confusion, no deadlines, no back-seat drivers - and all off our own backs. Just the way we like it.
Kind friends then screen-printed the artwork by hand, took press shots and made videos with us - and thankfully some more are now involved, making merchandise with as much care and attention as we gave the record itself.
Essentially, we’re now not only in the game of making music, but of promoting, releasing and distributing it, too – it’s a lot of work, but we didn’t get into this to avoid getting our hands dirty, so we’re loving every minute of it.
But to do justice to the music we’ve made we need to invest a little more time and money in making sure we can get it to the people who want it, no matter where they are.
So, tours are booked and two more free singles are prepared for release… the only thing left to do is give the album the send-off it deserves - which is why we’re here on PledgeMusic, offering you guys exclusive pre-orders on all the things we’ve had so much pleasure in making.
What’s more, 5% of the money you pledge once we reach our target will go to CLIC Sargent, a charity helping children and young people with cancer and their families.
We hope you enjoy ‘Last Orders…’ as much as we enjoyed making it for you. We’ll see you at a show near you come November…
In the meantime stay in touch with us via this page for free downloads and more exclusives.
Gawd bless the lot of ya.
Holy Vessels”


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