Hear The Track HereBecause I was lucky enough to get an physical copy of the Silvertrain EP, this track was sandwiched on my Ipod with Headwork's Don't Pass It By and as I mentioned in that review, Thomas was the first musician I had encountered who made shoegaze music. You and I know it as English Alternative but hey what's in a name. Yes, Yes, I see you spluttering that Thomas J has already had a go round this month because - o sharp eyed reader - didn't I start the month with Keeping Up Appearances, his killer collaboration with Chas Holman (aka 333maxwell)? I admit this openly but I plead temporary insanity. I was so excited by the idea of starting the month with a track featuring two of my Artist Of The Year('s) - Thomas won it in 2008 and Chas won it in 2009 - that when Thomas came along with this track I completely forgot to tell him to f*** off. So here I am stuck with it.
As the man says, it's a hard life.
I admit I am completely taken with Thomas's style and his songs, a unique talent that was completely illuminated by the work 333maxwell did on Keeping Up Appearances, and I admit to a shudder that the refinement Chas brought to the party might have changed my view about Thomas's original (and rougher) sound. Tell you what, with lesser talents that may well be a problem but I should have known Thomas would be the last one I could level that charge at. All that Chas did was enhance (wonderfully) what is at the base of each and every Thomas J Marchant, an intelligent, focused song performed with incredible confidence and style. I've lost count of the amount of Must Have's I've dished out to this guy but again and again he proves that it is all so worthwhile and It's A Hard Life (yadda yadda) merely confirms that with some considerable exhibiting of a massively burgeoning musical muscle.
So, what's he gone and done this time that so has my panties in a twist? Damn me if he hasn't gone all country-fied on us. Not only that but he's somehow managed to find the hidden pill jar that has the only known MakeMeDylan pills known to humankind, and promptly scarfed the lot just before he made this track. Now I know for an absolute fact that Thomas is from my neck of the woods but the sense of wide open skies and endless, dusty horizons It's A Hard Life contains is pure Dylan, as his Thomas's inflections. I don't know whether it was intentional on his part, and if so he ran a serious risk of my carving him a new rear end for blasphemy, but the boy did good. Nope, he did brilliantly. The song is just verse, chorus, verse, chorus, one man his voice and guitar and as such you will have heard it a million times before but I beg to differ. I've been saying forever that Thomas J is unique and something this simple proves my point better than any words I can muster. T'ain't perfect, of course, but that's Thomas's trademark so deal with it.
MUST HAVE song.