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Death is the rather morbidly titled second album from the four piece Cheltenham based band Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun, a band who rather cheekily describe themselves as 'Country without the O'.
The album, released April 2012 through Xtra Mile Recordings, is the hugely anticipated (by me anyway) follow up from the bands first 2010 release, Atlases and compromises of eleven tracks:
1. England's Dead
2. A Song About Death
4. Wishing Well
5. Everything And The Heart
6. Sail Me Down The River
7. Our Fathers
8. Home / Hospitals
9. Oh Holy Magda
10. New Natives
The genre of the album is a mix up of folk, punk, country and rock and features raw, heart felt and honest lyrics with themes of escapism, freedom and 'home' prominent throughout. Front man Jim Lockey possess a distinctive voice which easily allows him to tackle melodic harmonies as well as up beat shouts and, no matter what he sings, he makes it very clear through his voice that he means every single word. If ever there was an example of 'playing from the heart' I feel Lockey is it, the passion he displays is quite something.
Typically the tracks focus on soft, gentle acoustic guitars which gradually build up to something much louder with distortion, drums and the occasional tune from a melodica. The song structures have a tendency to be a little complicated, particularly the albums opening track 'England's Dead' which tunefully spins in and out of control throughout and is one that will definitely have you tapping your foot along to the beat and chanting along to the repeated 'you're either one of them or one of us' lyric at the end. The song 'Warriors' is a personal highlight of mine with a calm thirty second intro quickly kicking off into some good old acoustic punk.
What really impresses me about this album is the bands ability to pull very different sounding songs together in a way in which they work well with each other and even compliment each other. Listening to 19 second very upbeat, heavy punk song 'Sail Me Down The River' along side the album's closing song 'Wolves', a very soft, gentle and delicate song, is the perfect example of this.
I believe this album to be something very special and something very different. The beautifully poetic lyrics delivered with such passion by Lockey's unique voice really go hand in hand with the tuneful song structures displayed in these songs. If you're a folk/punk rock fan then I'd definitely recommend giving this album a listen, you'll probably end up with it on repeat for the next two months.
Death is available on Amazon for £8.87. The album can be digitally downloaded from Xtra Mile Recordings website (www.xtramilerecordings.com) for £8.99 or from Itunes for £7.99
Some songs do feature explicit content.