Thursday, 20 March 2014

CHILD - S/T - Album Review

All Dried Up cover art


19 February 2014

The songs:

1. Trees 8:14
2. Stone By Stone 6:16
3. All Dried Up 5:14
4. Mean Square 8:06
5. Blue Overtone Storm/Yellow Planetary Sun 10:04

The band:

Mathias Northway - guitars & vocals
Michael Lowe - drums & percussion
Jayden Endsor - bass guitar

Album Review

An entirely new acquaintance to me, Melbourne-trio Child had me right away with their self-titled 5-track debut. Their slow, seedy and dirty stoner blues is the perfect remedy for a bad day as it oozes misery and despair like any proper blues album should. And that is the cure when you feel you're in the gutter. Having only started out in 2012 the vibes this trio conjurs goes 40-50 years back into the heartland of the American swampy delta blues, hell they could have been with Robert Johnson when he struck a deal with the devil at the crossroad. It is that damned good, you hear!

'Trees' starts off sounding almost like early Black Sabbath it quickly changes when Mathias Northway fires off a solo. From there on it's heavy stoned blues of the highest order. Feeding on emotions and feelings Child keep things slow and psychedelic in order to really bring their creation to the listener in the best possible way. Going into long spaced out solos full of reverb and fuzz I close my eyes and drift away and I can feel my tension and stress wash away in no time. The ghost of the amazing Stevie Ray Vaughan is so present in 'Stone By Stone'. Mathias makes the guitar talk and cry just Stevie did, listen to the amazing solos and you know what I am talking about. And Jayden and Michael on bass guitar and drums respectively has the tightness of Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton of Double Trouble. A fantastic slow brooding song that keeps growing and growing.

On 'All Dried Up' the band is assisted on organ by Horce and man this is a desperate, haunted yet very beautiful song. Mathias is wearing his emotions on his sleeve as he belts out his frustration and the guitar is wailing and howling with despair. All this is even further enhanced by the baying of the organ which sounds eerie and doomsday-like. Starting out in almost sludge-style 'Mean Square' before switching to power blues while picking up the pace slightly. Again Mathias delivers some fantastic solos throughout and mark my words this guy will be world-famous! Last out is 'Blue Overtone Storm/Yellow Planetary Sun' and it's a powerful ending. The band keeps it slow in the verses and annihilates in the choruses. They're not going at it much faster instead they simply add heaviness to the choruses which builds up the song to a stellar end-section.

I've been mentioning frontman Mathias Northway and his guitar playing a lot which isn't strange if you listen to this album. However, without the backing from bass player Jayden Endsor and drummer Michael Lowe no one would get to hear this. In order to pull this off you need talented and confident musicians and Child's rhythm section is top notch, to say the least. And they allow Mr.Northway so much freedom and space that the whole recording oozes of class, maturity and unrestrained joy despite the somewhat dark lyrical content.

Don't know how many times I've said it before but surprises like Child's self-titled debut is something I want more of. It brings life to music and shakes my world around, making it fresh again. And it's so rewarding to hear bands that can actually make new music out of old styles in an era when most bands and artists goes for the safe route, i.e. fodder stuff or muzak. Great job guys and I can't wait to hear more from you!

Håkan Nyman

Thanks to Child for sending us a promo to review. Check the band from links below: