Tuesday 21 April 2015

Steady As She Covers

Tal Wallace, one man Man In Black as pastoral soothsayer of doom The Steady As She Goes, released a great album last year in the form of Dead & Dangerous, meticulously crafting a plodding, mellotron-heavy march through the seven levels of Lovecraftian hell, as scored by a Machiavellian Ennio Morricone. This year he has produced another album in the form of Folklord, a free download on his Bandcamp. It is a idiosyncratic rendition of a bunch of 16 Horsepower songs, and plays out how you might expect – dark and desolate, with Wallace’s baritone front and centre. The forays into, and unabashed embrace of, doo-wop (haha) and country tropes on the likes of ‘Sinnerman’, ‘Beyond The Pale’ and especially ‘Single Girl’ are a delight – imagine Johnny Cash if he played his classics with Neil Young’s Ol’ Black distorted guitar – but its where the songs naturally roll into TSASG staples that are the most impressive. The one two Western Armageddon of ‘Hutterite Mile’ and ‘Outlaw Song’, and the spectral crawl and Ennio haunt of ‘Horse Head Fiddle’, are excellent. My favourite track though is the closer ‘La Rope A Parasol’ – it’s haunting as you would expect, but there is a euphoria imbued within that hints that Wallace might actually be having…fun? God forbid.

It is a download only release, and even so in this squirrelled away corner of the world - have at it. Their second album is on its way...

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