12 December 2012

The Union - The Union

Seems like I am being asked to do a lot of retro rock reviews here this week.  The next one after this will have keyboards in, I promise....maybe....sort of..... ;-) Anyway, onto this album.  Released in 2010 this is the debut album of a partnership formed by Luke Morley from the rock band Thunder and Peter Shoulder of Winterville.  They formed the band officially in 2009 when Thunder had split up after years of saying they would make some music together.

Right from the start you will know exactly what to expect from this album., songs of lost loves, heart felt ballads, amazing solos and tales that will have the hard rockers crying into their pints when they are not trying to have a little dance to some of the faster numbers.  This is the first time I have listened to them, and whilst am familiar with Thunder - I have never heard Mr Shoulder sing or his previous band.  Now whilst his voice is not sending shivers down my spin, I am very impressed with his vocal range (especially on the wonderfully mournful "Saviour").  Produced by the lad's themselves they have gotten quite a lot out of the material here and each song sounds almost perfect.

Now, you may have notice I put the word almost there.  This is not to be nasty to this band or their fans, but it is not something I would go racing towards every time I wanted to put an album on for two reasons. One - I prefer Mr Morley's work in Thunder, they are a better band in my eyes and this sits as a side project for me since Thunder get back together every year anyway.  Secondly, as good as it is play (and I would not fault the band on that one) it does not get out of second or third gear for me - it plays it very safe and does the fast song, slow song combo which whilst being tried and tested.  When they follow ""You Know My Name" (The stand out track for me by the way, just in front of "Saviour") they going into "Come Rain, Come Shine" and it breaks the pace just like they seem to do with every other song.  Obviously it was there first effort and even though it is well played, I just know I would reach for Joe Bonamassa, Thunder, Cathedral, in fact many other bands, just because this is not quite the finished article in my mind.  Nothing is bad or wrong here, but nothing is exciting either.  It is just a very good safe album.

I have a feeling I will come back to this one and re-do the review again, it might be that the mood I am in upon this listen is just not giving them a chance - as I said I know it is play very well, but it is just not clicking in my mind.  This should be checked out by all fans of bluesy rock and I do feel that they will have a very loyal and grateful audience.  I don't know if I would could myself as part of that group yet, but I would not count myself out of it either.

5 out of 10 - Standard stuff that is right in the heart of the comfort zone

You can purchase from here

You can listen to this on Spotify here

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