Thirty Tigers/OKRA HOMA Records
Classy Heavy Americana from Oklahoma’s Houses of the Holy.
While this is Parker Millsap’s third album and he is vaguely on my radar as a friend is a big fan; I don’t actually own anything by him; so was looking forward to discovering what Greg goes on about.
WOAH there! I certainly wasn’t expecting anything like the riff heavy opening track Fine Line; so much so the album has only been an occasional listen in the car over the last month or so; only a couple of songs at a time until last week following a particularly tough shift at work when only loud music would do; although this is far being a LOUD album.
So; back to Fine Line. It’s actually a really powerful story played out against some muscular bass and drums with a searing guitar from Millsap himself that nearly over shadows his rich singing voice at times; but always pulls back from the brink.
That late night journey was just perfect too, for the second track a slower and indeed heavier track called Your Water and a little later the razor sharp Let a Little Light In, which has some really clever couplets in the lyrics.
Now I’ve got my head around where Millsap is coming from I’ve come to love the slower, slow burners songs Coming On and the title track itself OTHER ARRANGEMENTS which straddle the Power-Ballad and Heavy Rock line as if it were barbed wire.
For a handsome young man; there’s something world weary in Millsap’s voice that I find soothing especially on the folk tinged Singing To Me which features Daniel Foulks fiddle playing alongside Millsap’s intricate acoustic guitar strumming; as does the gossamer like finale Come Back When You Can’t Stay.
There’s a lot of light and shade on this album with the gorgeous love song Tell Me juxtaposed next to the dark and smouldering Gotta Get To You; which will tug at even the leatheriest heartstrings out there.
In it’s own way I think I’ve fallen in love with this album; which may sound a bit contrary from someone who grew out of Rock Music over 40 years ago; but the way Parker Millsap delivers She and Coming On sent shivers down my spine and made that late night car journey go by in the blink of an eye.
So, it’s ‘Favourite Track’ time and that’s not been easy as a few songs now fit the bill; but I’m going for………drum roll………the delicate Singing To Me, which really showcases a songwriter at the top of his game; but more importantly a singer who trusts his own voice to deliver a narrative in a very personal manner; and the young man deserves to be applauded for such bravery.
Maybe it’s me; but …….and this is a good thing, there’s a distinct scent of Led Zeppelin here; especially the way Millsap’s singing style echoes Sir Robert Plant, and mixing loud, fast and tight rockers with delicate Folk tinged intros and songs themselves comes straight out of the Zep play-book; but don’t worry I actually like this album for exactly what it is; a very contemporary Rock album from the heavier end of the Americana spectrum that will please all ages and sexes.
Released UK & Europe 15th June 2018
Released US of A & Canada 4th May 2018