Maggy Simpson - 'Lab Rat And Lobster'

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Maggy Simpson - 'Lab Rat And Lobster'

An extremely interesting and surprising debut from a duo not frightened to dabble in cross genres.

No, not a misspelling of the dummy addicted youngster in the unavoidably famous cartoon, Maggy Simpson is actually the latest vehicle for one time Glyder mainman Bat Kinane. For this equally unusually named debut offering, Kinane has teamed up with songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Shane Counter, the pair previously working together on Bat's so far one and only solo album 'A Lifetime To Kill'.

While Kinane may well be best known for his Irish take on Classic Rock, his solo release revealed a broader set of influences. 'Lab Rat And Lobster' extends that array of reference points further, Counter bringing in a slightly more progressive edge to proceedings. The results provide a selection of songs that initially surprise, but live with them and the mix of Kings X, Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore, Queens Of The Stone Age and The Beatles, begins to take on a sharp focus.

A spiralling burst of guitars introduces 'High Time To Die', grating against harsh cymbal work, before settling into a bass led groove that many a modern day Classic Rock act would kill for. Kinane rasps his way through the song adding a real sense of authenticity to a tale of Rock Star days gone south, while the pounding drums and kick-ass guitar solo make a real impact. 'Spending Time' then brings things into slightly more Glyder like territory, a bluesy swagger and cleverly arranged harmony vocal oozing a subtle confidence.

Not everything sails so plainly however, with 'Stoner Blues' meandering and finding Bat not quite so vocally sure footed, while 'Coldest Eyes' suffers from taking too long to truly get going. However balance that against the excellent strut of 'Sorry' or 'On Blabbermouth' which surges in a dirty style that doesn't miss its mark musically or lyrically and things become clearer. It all takes a few listens to makes sense (as much of this album does actually), but it is well worth the effort.

'Lab Rat And Lobster' is an extremely interesting and surprising debut from a duo not frightened to dabble in cross genres pools. Not everything comes off to the same high standards, however as a launch pad for Maggy Simpson, this album suggests big things may well lie ahead.

Steven Reid

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