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'Love Lies Dying'
(Lagoon Dog Records)
Release Date: 1st June 2015
The second album from The Graveltones is pretty much an instant classic. Whether you describe it as heavy blues, nouveau blues, hard blues, it's really damn good – so good I could punch the air with delight.
'Love Lies Dying' has everything you could expect from the charismatic duo – it's exciting, it's dynamic and it's played with passion and grit.
Jimmy O and Mikey Sorbello have proved that they are here for the long haul and are committed to the sound, production and atmosphere. These songs work brilliantly with the studio treatment and they are going to be stratospheric live.
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The album starts off by leaving you in doubt as to its identity - a killer riff and beat, Jimmy's vocals riding the whole scale between shouting and crooning and an energy that you just want to bottle.
The duo's sound has a few embellishments here and there to give it some polish but not too many that it sounds removed from the heavy rawness of their live sound. Don't just leave the album after this track though, there are many more rewards to come.
It's unfair to expect this to reach the heights of the live shows, as they are a phenomenon that must be experienced, but this album does very nicely indeed, holds its own and gives more than a flavour of what The Graveltones are all about. If you never get to see the band live then this will still do very nicely indeed.
The album moves along at a frantic pace until it starts to wind down a bit in the middle with the intense and heady 'In The Throes', and then blasts you with a belter of a track 'I'm A Ghost' with its chorus of: "I was a man of my word, the dead can keep promises too." – goose bumps all over.
This leads straight into 'Back To You', where Jimmy sounds like the love child of Johnny Cash and Nick Cave with an astonishingly deep voice, a complete contrast to his usual tone. It's genuinely creepy in a good way.
It's an album that keeps on giving, ending with the sleazy groove 'Big Money' where you can't help but sway along to the riffs and almost feel the sweat dripping from the studio walls, before the lighter melody of 'Together Again' brings us back into daylight.
'Love Lies Dying' is recorded brilliantly – it is dirty, heavy, resonant, ambient, exuberant and primal. Together, Jimmy's vocals and Mikey's drumming are one of those magical musical combinations that don't come along that often. I am very grateful that they found each other.
World On A String
This Love Is Gonna Break
Running To You
Can't Tell A Man
Never Gonna Let You Go
In The Throes
I'm A Ghost
Back To You
Kiss And Fuck Off
Come And Find Me