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Kung-Fu Jesus - Wolf

  • Published in UNX

Having left Lanarkshire to experience the wider world Kung-Fu Jesus as returned, via South America and Taiwan, with an album's worth of material to chronicle the journey, both physical and conciousness-wise. 'Wolf' is the first single to be lifted from his debut full-length Celestial Gold, which is scheduled for a winter release on Gargleblast Records.

Comparisons with Withered Hand & The Pictish Trail are inevitable, given the style of music on offer and Kung-Fu Jesus's geographical origins. Electronica plays a large part in the backing tracks for both 'Wolf' and b-side 'Wander' and there is no weedy singer/songwriter delivery in the vocal department, which adds to the single's overall listenability.

'Wander', for my money is actually the better of the two songs. Whilst you couldn't call 'Wolf' maudlin in its delivery (the subject matter of missing an absent friend could well have been presented so) 'Wander' is just so much more exuberant, sweeping you away on its peaks and chivvying you along in its troughs. It's five minutes plus of glorious, bouncing positivity. 

'Wolf' will be released on August 25 and is available from the Kung-Fu Jesus bandcamp page here.


The Hazey Janes - Language Of Faint Theory

  • Published in Albums

Album number four from The Hazey Janes finds them reunited with the production team behind debut Hotel Radio - Paco Loco and John Agnello. As an antidote to the hectic worldwide touring the band has undertaken since the release of 2011 album The Winter That Was they took themselves off to the south west of Spain to make these recordings. 

Opening track 'Iwan' brought both Marillion and Tony Christie to mind for me, the former for the bulk of the musical element and the latter for the crooneresque vocals. By the time the guitar solo arrives near the three minute mark you might be wondering if they're setting themselves up to be the new Texas. Thankfully track two 'The Fathom Line' has a bit more oomph about it and is far more interesting in terms of chord changes, solos & what have you.

'In Shadows Under Trees' swaps the previous soft rock for competent country playing. Soaring, heart-tugging vocal lines are backed by lap steel plenty of complimentary backing oohs and aahs. Emotionally though, like the musical pace of the work up to this point, things don't get beyond second gear.

When the band veer into Teenage Fanclub-like territory on 'If Ever There Is Gladness' things start to look up as the tune nips along and the mildly melancholic note is pitched just right to get through that chink in your emotional armour. 'The Genesis' takes a more muscular, power pop line but by now the near total lack of hooks throughout the album is beginning to really tell. Sure they can comfortably write songs in a number of styles (add mild psychedelia with '(I'm) Telescoping') but that starts to smack of bandwaggoning a la The Soup Dragons.

Hearing any of the few better tracks on the album in isolation wouldn't adequately prepare you for the overall rather plodding and bland fare that makes up the bulk of it. Safe is I think the word I'm after as polished doesn't necessarily mean something's bad or unadventurous. I've unfortunately no access to my review of The Winter That Was but, whilst I've not listened to it in the intervening years, I'm pretty sure it was an album that promised more in terms of future works than has been delivered. 

Language Of Faint Theory is available from iTunes here, direct from Armellodie Records here and from Amazon

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