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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
Vincent McCallum, British born and Portugese raised, seems to have been playing and writing music all his life. He’s coming back to Britain for a wee tour in May, so here’s a six track ep from his Portugese band, The Code, to give a taste of what the man and his music are about.
The six songs here demonstrate an eclectic range of styles and the skill of a man who knows how to put an arrangement together. By The Ocean has a pleasingly dreamy, large sound, Dry Stone features some great slide guitar, protest song They’re The Ones To Blame throws in plenty of found sound clips to create a world-wide perspective whilst the happy, feet-twitching funk of Tempos is pretty irresistible. Two strong characteristics pull all this together. One is Vincent’s singing, a slightly husky rock voice occasionally reminiscent of Roger Chapman, and the other is a seventies vibe that is there no matter what the style of the particular song. They’re The Ones To Blame could easily be something The Clash meant to put on Sandinista, for example, whilst The Stones or Family come to mind at other times. One or two tracks maybe sound a bit underpowered, as if he could use an electric band behind him, but overall this is really engaging stuff that demonstrates an ability to surprise with the range of his music – he’s as happy delivering something tender and intimate as he is kicking up a storm. Good man, good fun.
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