Friday, 11 May 2012

REVIEW: Tom Williams And The Boat - Teenage Blood

Where do Tom Williams And The Boat fit in with the rest of the relatively new UK guitar bands? Too heavy to be grouped in with any folk acts, yet too sincere to be classed as a rock band. With their second album 'Teenage Blood' it seems that they are making music that further defines the band's own sound and characteristics. They certainly aren't trying to follow any trends, and perhaps as a result of faith in their musical instincts the songs display a grown confidence. The superb title track begins the album with crashing piano, seething violins and an unforgettably brilliant chorus before 'Too Young' surfaces with an addictive guitar hook and some terrific melodies. 

'Little Bit In Me' is darker stuff, detailing a family background of suicide, rape and murder. However much actual real-life truth there is to this, Williams certainly paints the picture well. The understated swoon of 'Trouble With The Truth' is followed by the infectious 'My Bones', sounding a bit like Nick Cave covering 'Out Of Time'-era REM with a little bit of Pulp's 'I Spy' also being briefly recalled. Despite some melodic similarities with Bon Jovi's 'Someday I'll Be Saturday Night', 'Neckbrace (Big Wave)' is also brilliant, as are the likes of the acoustic melancholic 'There's A Stranger' and the beautiful closer 'Emily'. 

Most of the album's second half almost brings to mind a hungrier, more interesting version of Snow Patrol, but overall Tom Williams And The Boat offer more than that, from the greater lyrical depth to the passionate delivery and the intelligent arrangements. This second album displays a growth in confidence, and represents a step forward that may push this particular boat out to a wider ocean. 8

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