Do you ever have those moments where you are so intent on trying to discover something that you fail to notice the simple answer?
Well let me fill you in on three important things:
- It’s a sailboat
- There is no Easter Bunny
- Welshly Arms is not trying to be The Black Keys
Now I know what you’re thinking, it’s a schooner. But just because The Black Keys have stopped being The Black Keys does not mean they need to be replaced. And by simply listening to the first several seconds of Welshly Arms’ self-titled release does not entitle someone to throw a blanket statement on the band; because, they’d be in for a big surprise.
The expanse of Welshly Arms is a broad swath of raw rock, interlaced with attentive writing, under a canopy of blues; and I’m talking beautiful, modern, how-it-needs-to-be blues.
Kicking the album off, “Love In A Minor Key” is an attention grabbing, dirty, fuzzy track that is the bait for the hook. Granted, you’re likely to find Keysian associations, keep in mind, this is just the tip of the schooner. As the ten tracks progress, a soul of stomping beats, riddled with delicious riffs that are a smooth as a fine whisky and just as enjoyable emerge. The power stroked energy of “The Touch” leaves you in anticipation of a heavy rhythm section and lingers on a strong delivery rooted in a surprisingly soulful rock. The record then grabs you by the collar and tosses you to some funk; funky rock with solid foundation, laden in dark recesses of harmony in “Night Prowler.” By the end, WA settles down with “Who Knew.” In a Travis-esc stroke, they bring the tempo down and serenade you with a softer side that hardly detracts, even for a moment. Bookended by ferocious blues and dreamy rock, the fade out of Welshly Arms will have you immediately reflecting on what you just experienced and the fastest path to get you back in.
The slick licks and hardened core drive a sound that not only defines itself, on its own terms, but lifts you up out of the monotony of life and drives a therapeutic dose of rock straight into you. Welshly Arms is not trying to be anything other than what they know how to be and they know how to be that very well. Don’t think Keys, think more Crowes with more attitude.
Greg is a co-founder and regular contributor to Nanobot Rock