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Saturday, 14 January 2023

The Roves - Needle Factory


I come in at this point, the third album from The Roves and I certainly will listen to the previous two. There is something ace about how straight ahead the five piece are. That's not in anyway a criticism, there are plenty of roads taken on Needle Factory.

Over recent years, we have been hammered by musical drama, lockdown acoustic strumming earnestness, riff overdose and twee female vocalists. So it is really refreshing to listen to an album that just concentrates on the songs. No hidden gimmicks or sudden changes of direction, just great well played and written songs.

At times, there is a Dylan or early Jagger feel to the vocals. At times the songs sound American or London. At others there's a Scally Pop Liverpool feel or Glasgow late 80s feel. What isn't in any doubt is how well arranged and thought out the songs are. It is hard work making songs sound simple.

There's also great examples of wit in the lyrics and some great harmonies, particularly on Mr White. A song like Joanna & Miguel is wonderful Wirral Guitar Pop and yet Sundays Lost is great 60s Beat Pop. Alberto Zi & The Uptown Three is just so damn catchy.

Pure As The Word has a splendid Jangle to it, part Brit, part West Coast. Wally Pine adds more lyrical wit to the Jangle with a great Beat Pop feel. Archway Blues even sounds Ian Hunter-ish in the Mott The Hoople Island Years, maybe a little Wildlife.

Then there is Drug Deal with its Steptoe Intro. A really jaunty 70s Pop Rock affair unlike any of the material surrounding it. There really is so much to love here. Proof that you don't have to dazzle and flash to make a great album. All you need is great songs.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


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