Soley Mourning - 'Zaire' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 23, 2011    
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There is something for everyone on this album.

Melodic hard rockers Soley Mourning have certainly paid their dues. Whilst on tour with Magnum in 2009 the Black Country band endured something of a ‘Spinal Tap’ series of events. Broken down tour buses; lost luggage; accidents; exploding drummers (ok maybe not that one), and all out sheer bad luck. The band however persevered and won over the audiences with their powerful performances.

‘Zaire’ is the bands third album, and with the addition of new drummer - the strangely monikered mAsh, the band have decided to go in a funkier direction musically, it is fair to say the Spinal Tap influence is reserved for their tours, not their songs.

The album explodes into life with ‘Deadman’s Town. A Rage Against The Machine riff sits atop a simple stripped down drum beat courtesy of the afore-mentioned mAsh. Musically it tips a nod also to a band like Living Colour. Vocally Mat Partridge is equal parts Lenny Kravitz and soul popster Terrence Trent Darby (remember him ?). Trust me, it works.

Further soft rock elements are evident in tracks like ‘Gimme Sumthin’’. A Hammond dripped song full of unbridled joy and effortless coolness. If you imagine a car with the top down and the Spin Doctors blasting out off the stereo then you get an idea of the songs infectious ‘feel good’ vibe.

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Living Colour are certainly a band that sits at the heart of this album, the soul rock of the American band mixed musical genres and led a path others followed. Soley Mourning certainly embrace their own soul influences and this is perfectly demonstrated with ‘She’s Gonna Make It Shine’ a song that would happily sit on a Philip Sayce album (a man who himself is no stranger to the smoother side of music). However this is not an album that rests on its laurels. ‘Groundhog Saturday’ snarls out of the starting blocks and snaps at your ankles like the bastard son of Clutch and Rage Against The Machine. Guitarists Tone Chambers and Andy Guest hammering out the riffs like their lives depend on it. 

‘Simone’ by contrast sees the bands sound stripped back to its bare bones. A tender ballad with subtle orchestration that’s brings to mind Maroon 5, and vocally Partridge sounds eerily like Adam Levine at times. It is a sublime song that Lenny Kravitz would have given his right hand to have written.

So, we’ve had soul, pop, rock and a touch of blues. With the ‘attitude’ of songs like ‘The Wrath’ a spiky, finger poking funk led ball of verbatim and the pile-driving title track ‘Zaire’ the band have seemingly ticked all the ‘musical’ boxes. For a band who are still relatively new Soley Mourning have certainly crammed in a life-time of experiences to their music. The groundwork they have laid has given them a sense of invincibility. The songs are well crafted and the band are tight, but never predictable. ‘Zaire’ is an album that says; “we have done it our way!” It is not often you will see so many musical influences on one album, yet it all works. In short there is something for everyone on this album. A band with a very bright future….if they can keep their line-up stable.

Dave Evans

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