Hear The Track HereDespite my hard assed attitude about reviewing, I never find writing bad reviews easy. It's relatively simple to say what is good about something you hear, I find it almost fekkin impossible to write hard-to-take reviews. I know full well what its like to be on the end of some of those stinging rebukes and it takes confidence and experience to make something positive out of it. The reason I started picking at this old sore is because Mike Atkins (aka Monktrump) has been a much spanked reviewee and he just took it all, and went on to the next one. That's the kind of attitude I can admire about this because it says something about that particular musician. I am enormously pleased when artists I given a particularly hard time to come good, and over the two or three releases, Monktrump has done just that.
It should be said that you should have a liking for rock, and in this case 'something mellow' as Mike assured me on the signup thread. Uh oh. There again, it's not such a shock when you realise (almost instantly) that this artists interpretation of mellow means a slow acoustic blues rock tune that - for all it's simplicity - reaches out and grabs you. To be sure, there isn't much in the way of extra instrumentation going on here except the occasional (very effective) backing vocal, bass and lead guitar. All pretty much standard for the genre, the real surprise comes in it's delivery.
All my problems with this artist have stemmed from two things, hesitancy in delivery and lack of arranging skills. Both of these things are now niggles from the past as can be seen by this latest string of superfine rock tracks. I've used the term classic rock about this artist a great many times and the label fits his muse perfectly. Despite the lack of high end production the tenseness and drama of the song still comes across clearly and with great emotion. The conduit for that emotional pull has to be Mike's voice whose confidence and drive is self evident; he's also adopted a much rougher, breathier vocal style and I for one applaud it. Because of the genre it's obvious this won't please everyone but by golly it certainly pleases me.
Recommended classic rock.