Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thomas J Marchant - Lifeboat

Hear The Track Here

Way back in Soundclick's murky past, when I first started reviewing on that site (10 years and counting folks...) there were a few musicians around who - I have to be honest - I absolutely dreaded reviewing. Funnily enough, they were all billed as Experimental Electronica and they seemed to thrive on dissonance, disjointed (nay fully fractured) arrangements and a very cavalier attitude to production quality. Yeah, yeah ya old fart, but we all have to start somewhere, right? Yes indeedy, and again funnily enough, those people who I tagged at the time as 'the awkward squad' are now Soundclick veterans and whose recorded work is a s good (if not better) than 99% of the stuff out there - at least in terms of ideas.

Seems odd to think about it now because Thomas J Marchant was one of those types of artists and it's only been the past few years where we have seen the advent of Thomas the songwriter, guitarist and general all round musical hero (to many). Ahhh, I have heard people say, but his stuff is a bit amateurish isn't it? Well, I guess that depends on your point of view. Remember, Thomas has been there and picked up the long service medal, as well as a shedload of experience in what works and what doesn't. What works, in his case, is his songwriting and arranging ability (regardless of how lo-fi and (sigh) amateurish it sounds), and that has led to a great many more fans than I think he suspected he ever had. In fact, it is those very qualities that has won him those fans.

You can stop patting yourself on the back for being so clever as to spot that I have reviewed Lifeboat before; in July 2010 I wrote ' absolutely no-one else sounds like this' even doing a extremely simple reggae/ska tune which Lifeboat just happened to be. As I mentioned at the time, the best reggae I ever heard is a guy on a battered old acoustic merely picking chords as accompaniment and that is why the original got a Must Have. So what's changed? Well, you can hear the original here and the differences are instant, this is what Lifeboat (the original) sketched out but taken to the nth degree. Now a fully fledged, multi-instrumental, extremely well produced track that shows that this musician is STILL learning new tricks at a prodigious rate. So if the original got a Must Have, where does that leave this one? Well, your life will shrivel and die if you don't have this innit??

MUST HAVE (for fans) MUST HAVE (or anyone) original folky reggae.

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