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Old James – Speak Volumes

Old James
Speak Volumes
Riccardo Gaffuri at 23 October 2017, 5:27 AM

This self-released Speak Volumes represents the debut of young Canadian trio OLD JAMES, a half an hour concentrate of old school hard rock, delightfully laced with funk and blues. This is a platter of vintage sounds that will ask for a second listening after the first: what comes out is an amusing album, able to entertain and force our hand on the volume control with its changing rhythms and adaptable vocals, now feisty now more benevolent but always ready to burst. 70’s sacred monsters fill all the riffs but a modern approach results in a well-balanced sound, which will amuse both old and young rocker generations: LED ZEPPELIN, DEEP PURPLE, VAN HALEN for sure had a heavy influence on OLD JAMES but our Canadians show high potential in rendering a pleasant record, pleasantly melting these influences together.

“Don’t Put it On Me” opens the album harmlessly, shattering riffs and a closing solo to inject some of OLD JAMES creativity in the deal; “Lemons (The End Of Something)” hits with its funky bass; pounding “Words as Weapons” shows what these guys are made of. While “So Real” slows things down, injecting blues in the mix, “Salutations” alternates this blues base line to shattering guitar explosions. Short interludium “Bass-Ik Instincts” prepares for “Kill Off the rose”, with a nice riff filling over a blues carpet. “Master Imploder” follows with some southern echoes. “Eugene” is a not fully understandable step in the record, while “Speaking Volumes” closes the running order in an honest way.

This breath of fresh air certainly chose the right time to come out: now that this kind of rock is building momentum once again, OLD JAMES are going to be able to carve out a space all for themselves.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Don’t Put It On Me
2. Lemons (The End of Something)
3. Words As Weapons
4. So Real
5. Salutations
6. Bass-Ik Instincts
7. Kill Off The Rose
8. Master Imploder
9. Eugene
10. Speak Volumes
Brian Stephenson - Lead Vocals/Bass Guitar
Andy Thompson - Lead Guitar
Chris Stephenson - Drums/Backing Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 30 May 2020

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