Hear The Track HereLook at this now, I first met Canadian musician Ralph Atkinson when I reviewed Building A Time Machine (October 2009) and here it is a year and more later. Seems like so much longer. No, wait, that didn't sound right. The principle reason he has become so familiar in such a short time is because of the nine tracks and one collaboration he has thrown at me since then. To be able to do that and avoiding slashing blades you have to be either pretty damn good or insanely foolhardy. Having said that, I have to say that Ralph is a guitarist, songwriter and lyricist of some considerable style, hence the very high ratings I have consistently given him for these tracks. And loookkkeeeee here, this is the next one....
I'm just thankful he didn't give me the Christmas track.
Nonetheless as the man himself so decisively describes the track 'mid tempo rock...actually, it's kind of slow...slow to mid tempo rock, then!!!' so to put you right, it is slow and almost (gulp) a ballad. So what saves it from having it's no doubt scrawny throat slit? The blues, mang. The blues. Building A Time Machine was a blues track too, although it has to be said, this is a bit more watered down down that. Remember s-l-o-w. Looked at blankly on the page, the lyrics to Winterkill don't really do very much, but one of the highlights of this track are the vocals which Ralph brings to life most pleasantly. (Ed: uh oh, he said pleasant, everybody DUCK!!!)
You know, sitting here in the UK freezing my critical nuts off, you'd think a song about winter wouldn't go down too well, but - there is no denying it - Winterkill is very, very pretty and shows a vocal confidence that I hadn't noticed before. Either that or he's got a new piece of kit. It is that time of year, after all (hint hint). When all is said and done though what makes it happen is that the playing, performance and production are damn near perfect, highlighting just how good Ralph Atkinson can be. Need something to warm your critical nuts? Wrap them around this, you'll soon be sweatin.....(Ed: OK stop. Stop!)
Musical equivalent of mulled wine? Fill yer boots. MUST HAVE