Captain Tom's is the Aberdeen recording studio and home of Fat Hippy Records, from where this fine slice of blues rock has emerged; Gerry Jablonski is the voice and guitar man but if ever there was a case of the right four guys coming together to make something special, then this is it. Gerry, drummer Dave Innes and bassist Grigor Leslie are all old hands whilst Peter Narojczyk is the relative newcomer with his quite astonishingly powerful harmonica style.
The songs are all down as band co-writes (there sure is a team ethic going here, despite the billing) and the style they've come up with frequently sounds like the blues-based proto-metal of the late 60s. In his sleevenotes Gerry owns up to aiming for BB King, with Clapton, Page and Peter Green all in the mix. You can certainly hear that in the music and the fact that one song in search of a lyric became a tribute to Paul Kossoff, because of the echos of Free that they could hear in the music, says it all, really. If anything, the longest track here, High On You, sounds even more like Free in their most deeply blue moments.
Beyond the influences, however, these guys are following their collective muse to see where it leads. This is their second album and it looks like they're playing a host of gigs over the summer in support of it. I think what people will hear is that they're getting towards something that is distinctly "Electric Band" and not just an echo of all their heroes. The default sound is really the old power trio topped off with a quite wonderful harp player, and Peter Narojczyk does way more than fill out the sound as he trades the lead instrument role with Gerry Jablonski. I've rarely heard a blues harp player that is so forceful; he frequently takes the reins and the rest of the band follow wherever he feels like leading.
Unsurprisingly, they get really enthusiastic live reviews. They make a really beefy sound with plenty of virtuosity from all four corners to grab the attention. The album clocks in at something around seventy minutes which, arguably, is about ten minutes too long. They repeat themselves a bit, riff-wise, and there's a sense of loss of focus as if the flow of music from track one to track fourteen is disrupted. Live, I'm sure you'd still be begging for more but a live set and an album are two different beasts and I think the album might benefit from some editing. Still, they're a grand band and they look like they'll be very busy over the summer giving us all every chance of seeing them in full flow.
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