Strange Blue Dreams
Holy Smokes Records
Eleven Sweet Little Rock & Roll Vignettes To Make Your Heart Rejoice.
Where do start? The opening of the envelope, I suppose…….neither the CD cover nor the bands name took my fancy when I first perused the contents; and the PR who sent it is primarily known for Folk Music rather than the Roots/Americana/Country I normally favour; so things didn’t get off to a very good beginning. But…..there’s always a ‘but’……there was an intriguing photo of a quirkilly dressed beat combo set inside a vintage TV on the Press Release; which I normally don’t look at so early.
So; into the CD Player it went…….crackles, pops and whizzes came out of the speaker until a velvety male voice began ‘Ooohing and aahhhing” before crooning “This City got electricity /for the first time/when you came to me,” in a style reminiscent of Billy Fury, and the band sound quality too. The song, Electricity just blew me away……I’d not heard anything like it since…..maybe my Rock n Roll period in the mid 70’s when Showaddywaddy ruled the British airwaves.
WOW and WOAH…..the second track Reverberatin’ Love is full of Duane Eddy ‘Twang’ guitar; coupled to singer David Addison’s classy voice crooning again…..yes…..he croons; and croons in a way that will makes ladies go weak at the knees.
That was it for me……I immediately went onto Twitter declaring my undying love for The Strange Blue Dreams…..and nothing has changed in the ensuing three weeks.
What I love most about this album is the glorious ‘Retro’ feel to it; but instead of going for the obligatory Eddie Cochran/Gene Vincent 90 MPH sort of Rock and Roll, these five lads from Glasgow Town have opened a secret door on 1960’s British Rock & Roll with added Country tones and even a bit of Swing at one stage ; pretty much the music I grew up with, and I’m pleased to say they do themselves proud.
The album title makes an appearance in The Ballad of the Sun and the Moon; which sounds like it should have been on the soundtrack to an Alan Ladd Western; and if Quentin Tarantino hears it; it may still make an appearance in a film in the future.
It’s difficult for me not to just list every track with my notes next to the title; as everything is here on merit – All hits……no shit!
Even Mrs. Magpie looked up from her magazine one evening when the delicious Pretending Everything came on; and I don’t blame her for nodding her head along with the pleasing Waltz like tune and sweet lyrics.
This Twilight Zone isn’t the TV Theme; it’s actually got a bit of a Hawaiian lilt to it; and a set of lyrics that will make you want to cuddle the love of your life, and sway along long into the night.
There’s no denying that these songs are what they are because of singer David Addison’s unique voice; but the other four lads; Ross Wilson, Duncan Kennedy, David Rae and Richard Anderson ain’t no slouches either, they not only play their respective instruments like Nashville’s finest but know when to let the song takeover and not swamp the vocals; which says a lot for their lac of ego as this is a self-produced album.
No ‘one trick ponies’ they aren’t afraid to dabble in the Pop side of this iconic sound; with the glorious Up To The Stars and Jungle Drums which must be a hoot when heard live.
Picking a ‘favourite track’ has proved a nightmare; as last week it was Lyrebird, a quirky song unlike anything else here, and this morning it was the Film-Noir enhanced That’s The Place (I’m Falling) but I’m going for……..Towards The Warm Place; a Buddy Holly (or Shakin’ Stevens if you are my generation) influenced toe-tapping beauty that has actually had me dancing as I listened; until I saw my reflection!
Don’t let the band’s name nor the weird artwork on the album cover put you off; as they nearly did me…..because this group and their debut album are……bloody amazing from start to finish!
Released October 20th 2017