This is a review of "Tell The People I'm Not Coming Down" recorded by Return To Aljustrel. The review was written by Thom P Smith in 2012.
Having never heard this Leeds based 6 piece before I stumbled upon 'Tell The People I'm Not Coming Down,' it gave me a chance to discover this band with a completely open mind.
First track, 'Innocent Tree' gets the album off to a great start, relaxed and delicate, it seems like a stiff breeze could bring the whole thing crashing down, thankfully this is not the case, Return to Aljustrel are no dainty flower and just when you thought it was safe to crank up the volume the whole thing erupts into an all guitars blazin' bridge section.
Lead singer Simon Elvin really finds the perfect tone throughout this album to complement the rest of the ensemble who make light work of their complex sound. Ranging from the sounds of disco pioneers the Bee Gee's in 'This Is The Dust' and the simple guitar and vocal set up of Simon and Garfunkel in 'Hide Away,' Return To Aljustrel devour influences like no other band I have ever heard, and charmingly fuse them in a euphoric melting pot. Guitarist Tim Waite shines throughout 'How We Control' with his unique delivery and distinct style of playing, he really makes this song his own, breaking out with an impressive solo that has an air of Dave Gilmour about it.
My favourite number on this 9 track CD is 'Thank You For The Television', a 4 and a ½ minute satirical anthem that hits the nail on the head when it comes to an age completely conditioned by 24 hour TV with the line "and of course we can all trust the news." It's this socially challenging attitude and truth filled, almost poetic lyrics that really give this band the edge. Although the recording quality is phenomenal the record has a DIY feel to it which ultimately creates a colossal atmosphere in which the listener can become completely absorbed.
'There's Always The Garden' closes the album very much in the same way it was opened. Soft, gentle and completely bursting with Thom Yorke-esque vocal melodies, track 9 ends on a reflective note and polishes it all off 'nicely'.
'Tell The People I'm Not Coming Down' has a lot to offer, from well-crafted rock anthems, heavy hearted ballads and psychedelic journeys, it just goes to show how much hidden talent there is on the Leeds Music Scene and Return To Aljustrel certainly have a bright future ahead of them.
'Tell The People I'm Not Coming Down' is available to buy as of Monday 19th November from iTunes, Spotify, Jumbo Records, Crash Records and www.returntoaljustrel.co.uk.