Album Reviews
Band: William The Conquerer

Title: Bleeding On The Soundtrack

Label: Loose

 

Is there such a term as 'Laid-back Alt Rock'? If not, bags I the claim to fame for it, as it describes this fantastic 3 piece combo right down Earth, especially in the vocal department, courtesy of Ruarri Joseph, probably one of the most unassuming, mild-mannered, unstar-struck singers I've met, but put him in front of a mic, and that laid-back attitude flows from him in droves. Along with Naomi Holmes, the the best female bassist since D'Arcy of Smashing Pumpkins, and cool dude drummer Harry Harding, this Newquay-based band have followed up their great 2017 album 'Proud Disturber of The Peace' with another belter, 'Bleeding On The Soundtrack', which continues on the autobiographic insight into Ruarri's adolescence and journey into adulthood carrying on where PDOTP left off, sorta! It all kicks off with the mid-paced, Snow Patrol-alike 'Path Of The Crow', Ruarri's vocals 'as a matter of fact' attitude on full tilt, the simple drum and bass pattern keeping the song steady as it goes, smartly followed by the shuffling foot-tapper 'Thank Me Later', Naomi's wandering bass-line taking charge here, the vocals reminiscent of late 80's Martin Stephenson (The Daintees!), and if the track had been any more laid-back, it'll be horizontal, with or without the 'F'-bomb that cheekily makes an appearance!

Next up is the groove-tastic 'Madness On The Line', and when I hear this I get visions of the 'Elvis 68 Comeback Special' as the guitar bleeds RnB/Rock that will get anyone's hips-a-swayin', the bass 'n drums again working in tandem as they shuffle along like freight train on a track, the keys giving the track it's wonderful 60's Doors vibe that we all grew up with and still appreciate today. well most of us ... ahem! The general mood slows down to relaxation mode with the uber-gentle ballad 'The Burden', this one for me right on the button of aforementioned Daintees, (especially from their classic 1986 Indie/pop/countryfied 'Boat To Bolivia', it's twinkling guitar the highlight here, Harry's tender drums and the harmonies of 'oohs' doing the biz as well, then the tempo picks up a tad on the spoken/sung storytelling rambler title track, where you feel as if you should go 'n get yourself a shot of Jack, sit back and just chill as the song ambles it's way along without a care in the World....until you suddenly realise what the song is REALLY about, and that thought disappears as quickly as it appeared. There's dark subjects then there's personal dark subjects, yet they still form ideas for great songs, this being a perfect example.

'Looking For The Cure' chirps along musically enough, with the scratchy riffage right on through the track without any let-up, though the story seems to be aimed at someone who seems to be at a crossroads in their life (?), giving off a mixed look to the song, like ..yeah, great sound but oh, this is quite personal in it's message .. hmmm ... before band hit their Americana stride with the lovely, melancholic 'The Curse Of Friends', the atmospheric opening not willing to give up it's grip as things float along on with neat touches of slide guitar and subtle harmonies, slightly building up towards the end, then returning to it's original roots as it fades out. Lush man!  'Be So Kind' gently bounces along with hints of country-styled violin via guest instrumentalist Georgina Leach, boosting the song's relaxing Summery vibe, only for things to get 'down 'n dirty' on the growling riffed, garage rocker 'Sensitive Side', full 'o swagger 'n grit that wouldn't be out of place at the legendary C.B.G.B. club in Manhattan's East Village, New York, U.S. of A., in it's heyday. Bringing the album to the end is the swoony, harmonious ballad 'Within Your Spell', the tempo drifting up and down like washing on a line in the wind, suddenly cutting off a the finish, and as I usually say, a fine way to end the album!

'Bleeding On The Soundtrack' may be a soul-searching, soul-bearing personal affair, but this band do it with an uplifting musical twist which is oh so better than the wrist-slashing, head in the gas oven tones of the Nick Caves of this world. This album may not be the fist-pumping Rock that most would be associated with, but if you fancy some laid-back Alt./Garage/Americana Rock in your life for a change, look no further than William The Conqueror and their TWO brilliant albums, 'Proud Disturber Of The Peace' and this cracker, 'Bleeding On The Soundtrack'. As Del Boy used to say ...'You know it makes sense'!!!

Review by: Robb Baldwin

 

Tracklisting:

1.  Path of the Crow
2.  Thank Me Later
3.  Madness On The Line
4.  The Burden
5.  Bleeding On The Soundtrack
6.  Looking For The Curse
7.  The Curse of Friends
8.  Be So Kind
9.  Sensitive Side
10. Within Your Spell

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