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Federal Charm -- Passenger (Wire-Sound)

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!

Federal Charm

David Blue.

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September 2018

The Devil Makes Three
70 pts.
Chains Are Broken
New West
Jimmy LaFave
65 pts.
Peace Town
Music Road Records
Malcolm Holcombe
48 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
Cody Canada & the Departed
47 pts.
Blue Rose Records
Jeffrey Foucault
43 pts.
Blood Brothers
Blueblade Records
The War And Treaty
42 pts.
Healing Tide
Thirty Tigers
Martha Fields
40 pts.
Dancing Shadows
The Weight Band
35 pts.
World Gone Mad
Must Have Music
David Olney
32 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music
The Black Sorrows
32 pts.
Citizen John
Blue Rose Records
Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis
31 pts.
Wild Wild Wild
Bloodshot Records
Hadley McCall Thackston
28 pts.
Hadley McCall Thackston
Wolfe Island Records
Nathan Bell
28 pts.
Er Gwaetha Pawb a Phopeth
Angry Stick
Curse Of Lono
26 pts.
As I Fell
Submarine Cat Records
Ryan Martin
25 pts.
Gimme Some Light
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25 pts.
Locke Creek Records
Jason McNiff
23 pts.
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At The Helm Records
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23 pts.
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Yep Roc
Kevin Gordon
23 pts.
Tilt and Shine
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21 pts.
Red House Records
Boz Scaggs
20 pts.
Out Of the Blues
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20 pts.
Among The Ghosts
Thirty Tigers
Melissa Carper & Rebecca Patek
20 pts.
Brand New Old-Time Songs
The Jayhawks
17 pts.
Back Roads and Abandoned Motels
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16 pts.
Cn Records

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