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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
Federal Charm return for their third studio album with a new lead vocalist and drummer, Tom Guyer and Josh Zahler, and open up with a blast. Swing Sinner is a great introduction to Guyer’s archetypal rock vocal. There’s no let up on Choke with Federal Charm confirming their status as one of Britain’s top up and coming Rock bands. Emerald Haze is a break up song with the associated jealousy and continues the heavier feel to the album, something that was not obviously apparent in their previous offerings. Echoes of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin pervade Death Rattle and I don’t say that lightly. This is one of the highlights of the album.
Nowhere Is Home has a softer element to it in the verse before getting grungier in the chorus like something The Stereophonics would produce. Good guitar work from Paul Bowe. Get Through is another highlight which showcases the band as the tight unit that there are. This is Rock N Roll, plain and simple. The acoustic beginning to Concrete Creature might lull you into a false sense of security but that doesn’t last long as the band rip it up again and Guyer throws in a primal scream or two.
There’s more classic Rock themes on Can’t Rule Me. This is a perfectly crafted song for the genre. There’s been little let up so far and you get any on Halo either. None of the songs go 100mph but they are incessant. A tale of love lost, which is a theme throughout the album. Bowe finally lets himself go on guitar and this one is a grower. They close off with the politically charged Speak Out and the ultimate in love lost, Parting Words. The former is a savage indictment on the current government and the latter is on the subject of divorce. Paired at the end as a coincidence given our current parting from our European partners?
This is definitely a heavier version of Federal Charm than you may have been used to. Go on, give it a try. You know you want to!
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