(Circle Sound/Eagle Rock)
Billed as ‘completely re-imagined by Rich Robinson’, this set takes the Paper release of 2002 and revamps it with fresh vocals and three extra cuts, the masters having almost been lost by the way in the Hurricane Sandy disaster of 2012. Remixing has also been incorporated. ‘Know Me’ has edgy slide over a tumbling beat and a great vocal, ‘Enemy’ has slashing Tom Petty venom and eerie singing, ‘Stand Up’ is all pounding drums and dirty guitars and the most reminiscent of The Black Crowes in some ways, ‘Places’ has a Doyle Bramhall filthy guitar smog and a terrific vocal, Rich in threatening mode with splashes of venomous wah as the bass walks along like RoboCop and the drums crack out a cymbal wash that sounds toxic. ‘Veil’ has twisting guitar figures and propulsive drumming introducing a quasi-Dylan declamatory song delivery; twin acoustics bounce in as ‘When You Will’ strums into earshot on a very folky number. Baby sounds like Wings whatever its inspiration and doesn’t work for this stonehearted listener. But ‘Begin’ gets us right back on track with its Davey Graham-electrified guitar figures and fine singing. Answers has a solid patter of a beat, ace if sombre string arrangement and nagging guitars. A very varied and at times exciting set of songs with too few slide runs for me, Rich being a wonderful slide player. High octane Americana for much of its playing time plus Robinson’s mellower side.
Rich Robinson’s album ‘Paper’ is out now on Circle Sound/Eagle Rock. For more information visit his official website: http://bit.ly/2aPJXjQ