By Scott Wainwright
In order to give his latest release a little perspective I listened to Scott's earlier album, "Every Man Has His Critics". After all he'd gone to the trouble of recording the songs and sending them to me so it seemed only reasonable I did my bit too.
Although the mood of his earlier album is more playful, some songs suffer from a confusion brought about by the collision of influences and ideas. There are hints to which direction Scott's music was heading and a distinctive element of experimentation to this earlier collection of songs. All the musical influences I can hear are good in their own right but a couple of tracks here seem muddled and this obscures things as he attempts to cram multiple elements into the same place. That's not to say the album doesn't have brilliant dashes. It definitely does. You just have to look a little harder than you will on "All That Glitters".
The Low Points: There's a dash of Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits to parts of both "Down the line" and "Deal me another hand" but they're offset in the latter by a rather bizarre female vocal interlude that seems like it belongs in another song. I might be missing the point of experimentation here and if so I'm sorry but it kind of loses itself. At least I think it does. The result sounding like a karaoke bar sing-off between Deacon Blue and Captain Beefheart in which there can be no winner.
The high points: I like the carousel/carnival vibe to the intro of "Change of heart". It reminds me of old 60s psych tunes, more specifically a mixture of two tunes, Colosseum's "Those about to die" and The Idle Race's "Skeleton and the Roundabout". "Whispers from The Undergrowth" offers more promise with some nice electro acoustics - rain and distant thunder - garnished with some traditional country banjo and fiddling about over the top. Atmospherically this is really good stuff and leads nicely onto "No Shoes Blues" with a traditional blues character and more, this time more fittingly, Beefheart sounding vocals. From traditional blues to good rocking times on "Kiss like they do in France" which is probably the most melodic and complete "pop" offering on the album. "Out into the Open" on the other hand offers a look at a possible indie past, certainly in the chorus. "Nothing to lose blues" is a party blues track with decent female vocals for the backing and "Here for you" is blues fun all the way.
So there you have it. Sometimes I'm not 100% positive about the music I review. But if you take anything from this piece it's that Scott's latest album is well worth a blast and his older stuff might take a more adventurous ear. Oh and that and local music is brilliant!