ahab – Wits End (2013)

Wits End

Harmonious British Americana

ahab are a four piece band from London who are currently being championed by some pretty influential people in the UK media; and I can now see what all the fuss is about with this re-mastered amalgam of their two EP’s which qualifies as their debut as a four piece for the majority of their fans.

I especially love the way ahab combine the very best of British Folk music with the sweet harmonies and jangly guitars that have littered the Americana scene since the heady Laurel Canyon days on album opener Wish You; which sounds like CSN&Y with Graham Nash taking the lead on a Fairport Convention song; and will make you want to hear more of the same; and thankfully that’s exactly what you get.

This is immediately followed by the finest song on WITS END – Lightnin’ Bug which is a sweet tune filled with wonderful harmonies on a pretty; damn good story about a young man’s offer of love that is ‘higher than a lightnin’ bug and faster than cheap cocaine.’ Now there’s an offer that will turn a girls head!

As with all music of this ilk it cries out to be played on a sunny day; preferably loudly in a car on the way to the beach andTo The Light will find it’s way onto many car stereos for that very purpose; with the punchy drumbeat making driving below the speed limit difficult.

ahab go right back to their English Folk roots with the glorious Dockers Hands although there is still an Americana feel to the sound of the guitars.

The only new song here is the download single Rosebud; which isn’t out of place, but certainly sounds like the beginning of a new journey for the band.

The album ends with the melodious Where’s The One You Love? Which; had it been recorded in 1970 would have been feted as a classic of it’s generation; but will now; just have to a ‘bloody good song.’

It pains me that a band as good as ahab will have be compared in some ways to Mumford & Sons or even Jake Bugg; but if that’s what it takes to open doors; then so be it.


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