Artist: The Union 
   Title: Siren's Song
   Label: Townsend Records
 

By all accounts, the second album is supposed to be the hardest to do, especially if the debut is a success.  

Obviously someone forgot to tell The Union this when they came to make the follow up to theirs, as 'Siren's Song' makes a mockery of that statement.

Branded by some as a stop-gap for Luke Morley before Thunder re-group when Danny Bowes gets sick of his day job, everyone has been taken by surprise at how well Morley and his sidekick Pete Shoulder have been received with The Union.

Ex-Winterville vocalist Shoulder possesses one of the finest voices around at the moment, and don't it show here!

From the off, the title track swings from an acoustic to electric power track, Shoulder matching it as he delivers gentle to growl with the guitar's mood switch. Just as good is 'Blame It O Tupelo', the riff as simple as it is effective on this foot stomper, the duo harmonizing like they've been together forever.

'Orion' turns the tables around a touch as its folky ambience will prick a few ears up, but who says they can't try something a little different once in a while?  The delicate guitar and cello combo only adds to the aching vocals, putting the listener into a false sense of tranquility, only to be rudely interrupted by the pounding beat of 'Obsession'.  It's beefy riff not too dissimilar to, believe it or not, Marilyn Manson, especially when played live.  This song rocks like a bigger, believe me!

It may be after our Summertime (what Summer?), but 'Make Up Your Mind' is a perfect song to be played on a long, hot Summer's day.  Sitting listening to the lazy strummed acoustic is all it takes to picture the scene, folk-blues at its best.  The Union are comfortable with the slow tunes, but its the faster, rockier ones that they're better known for on the radio up to now, so anyone will appreciate the slide blues hook intro to 'The Remedy', building its way cleverly into the uptempo blues-rock track we all love to hear.  Chris Child's bass dances all over the track, giving it a "groovy" edge as if to say ... "hey don't forget about me!".

Being the consummate bassist he is, there's no way he'd be less thought of in this band, or whoever it is he plays for, The Ultimate Eagles included.  Morley and Shoulder quite rightly chose the ideal man for the job as he won't let them down.

'Cut The Line' sends you into peaceful-mode with its slow-blues feel, almost lullaby like the way it floats along, and with the saddest sounding solo you'll ever hear on CD!  It could make a grown man weep the way it cries out in its own sorrow.

Picking up the tempo again, 'Burning Daylight' growls along a big, bold pace, followed nicely by 'Black Gold', a 70's tinged power-pop, full of harmonies song that could well be a few favourites on the album.  'Time' has all the traits of early Queen about it.  Fancy acoustic guitar, powerful lyrics with the lead solo bursting through at the height of the song.  Could easily be taken from 'A Night At The Opera'.

Now close your eyes ad listen to 'If I Could Make You Mine'.  what do you see?  Probably the same as everyone else will!  Evening dress, smoky atmosphere in a prohibition -times Chicago club.  Totally off-kilter, yet a strangely satisfying way to end the album.

High Voltage 2010 was just a taster of what was to come from The Union, and after several successful gigs, mainly upstaging Whitesnake at Newcastle City Hall this year, then things can only get better for this band.  Hopefully for us, they'll be around for a few more years to come, releasing quality album's like 'Siren's Song'.

Review by: Bob Baldwin 

Tracklisting:

1. Siren's Song
2. Blame It On Tupelo
3. Orion
4. Obsession
5. Make Up Your Mind
6. The Remedy
7. Cut The Line
8. Burning Daylight
9. Black Gold
10. Time
11. If I Could Make You Mine 

                  

 

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