STRIPPED DOWN/GUSSIED UP
Mighty Fresh Sounds From North Carolina Singer-songwriter.
As I’ve said before there are no definitive reasons for some of the albums getting reviewed at RMHQ; as in this case the album title STRIPPED DOWN/GUSSIED UP caught my attention as I occasionally use the term ‘All gussied up’ when I go out gallivanting of a weekend.
Well; I’m mighty pleased I did find this remarkable album from Pierce Edens.
His bio tells us that her grew up in North Carolina playing Appalachian Folk until he discovered……PUNK ROCK! Weirdly those two worlds clash/merge on several songs here, none more so than the opening track Sirens. An angry electric guitar fights an acoustic as Eden’s gravelly baritone swoops and soars on a an almost primal song that scratches at your brain until you let it in.
At times Eden’s magnetic voice sounds like a whiplash, a slow methodical build up…..then…..crash he punctuates a sentence or chorus emphasising his point in I Can’t Sleep.
Other times his voice is so low you find yourself tilting towards the speakers so as not to miss his magical stories; Further Down and Daffodils; the latter is almost like something from Thomas Hardy in spirit.
Regular readers will know how much I like an expressive gravelly voice; and that’s exactly what Pierce Edens has; in other hands songs like The Devil There Too or It’s Alright, It’s All Wrong wouldn’t be half as memorable or even interesting; but the way Edens drops his lyrical bombs kept me enthralled from start to finish each time.
The one song I’m not sure about his his treatment of Tom Waits’s Mr. Siegal where he gets a bit carried away trying to ‘out Tom Waits’ by screaming and shouting. It’s good; but could have been a bit more tempered at times.
Which brings us to my ‘favourite track’…..an easy choice this time; track #2 Here which starts with some beautifully played acoustic guitar before Edens seeps in; presumably with his eyes tightly shut as he forces each word and phrase out with as much understated power as possible.
Not always an ‘easy listen’ and certainly not ‘commercial’ enough for most people; but I’ve rather fallen in love with STRIPPED DOWN/GUSSIED UP which is actually a fair description of the contents within the record sleeve…..funny that.
Released June 2nd 2017