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Friday 15 September 2023

Cory Hanson - Western Cum


I mentioned last night that the joy of IDHAS is the freedom to review whatever floats our boat.We don't often venture too far into the world of Rock, but I am a massive fan of Wand, Hanson's band. However I hadn't necessarily taken to his two previous solo albums.

It isn't that they were not great, they are, but the understated, at times acoustic reflection is something that would never naturally appeal to me. But, his third album, Western Cum is right up my street. I've seen reviews mention it as different things, bits are right in all cases, but the emphasis on describing the album as Classic Rock is a little misguiding.

Hanson is a fantastic Guitarist, but not in a plank spanking way, there's a Ronson like melodicness to his playing, yet his vocal is a gentle, sort of west coast drawl, so both offer different comparisons. There is the Rock influence of say a prime time Thin Lizzy, but his vocal suits the Country Rock which clearly also plays a part here.

Western Cum is at its best when it mixes the two genres in the same song, you get to hear splendid steel guitar accompanied by riveting Rock solos. This is an album that gets better and better as it progresses, culminating in two monster songs.

The 10 and a half minutes of Driving Through Heaven is magnificent. Rock in every way, it encompasses Classic Rock, Psychedelic Rock and even Glam Rock instrumentally. It may be twice the length of the other songs on show, but it still feels too short.

The closer, Motion Sickness is largely a weeping melancholic affair that is incredibly engaging, but still Hanson manages to break into more melodic six string joy. The man is a wonderful guitarist, but also possessing a fine vocal allows him to explore territory that others would feel awkward in.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


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