This is a review of "The Breaking Places" recorded by Mojo Pin. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2003.
A year and half on from the first studio release of seven track CD "Stripes", five-piece Mojo Pin have developed a maturity and focus that sings out with real confidence. The three songs on this self produced CD have integrity, polish and real style.
Thunderous opener "What Your Mother Knows" has Dark Star richness and drive. Billy Mason-Wood’s voice is better than ever and is starting to sound like his own - rather than the respectful nudging towards Robert Plant and Eddie Vedder that we heard before. The riffing is relentless and the bass and drums pound along in a heavily muscled and blues drenched frenzy.
The four minute title track starts light, with wistful guitar and tambourine, but comes to its lustrous and melodic self with fifteen seconds. The song is everything, and the production and instrumentation stays carefully out of the way. Guitars, drums and bass are played with restraint and ability. This is a convincing single that should be on national radio right now. It has a nostalgic, retro feel, which is echoed in the words "it’s all gone ..." But Mojo Pin are alive to the creative qualities of older music and they do a great job of making a traditional form their own. There’s a very sweet bridge section about two minutes 30 in that carries the listener blissfully into the last verse. Recommended.
At track three "The Love Song of The Preacher Man" is a great live vehicle, with raw guitar and distorted vocals to kick it off. From the evidence of a recent Cockpit show, this seems to be more the live style of Mojo Pin, but against the other two tracks it has less finesse and less of a universal appeal. But it does keep the faith with the raw blues power thing that friends and fans will know the band by and the production is well done. It has some hot squealing guitar that (thank the Lord) never uses wah wah or any time honoured "rock" FX nonsense. Straight as a die.
You can get this little bundle of blues-rock treats at gigs or from the band.