Once A Day

Nick West's reviews for Bucketfull Of Brains and Rock'N'Reel

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Location: London, United Kingdom

Co-editor and publisher of Bucketfull Of Brains since 1996.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Redlands Palomino Company

Take Me Home

Laughing Outlaw

For their second album the Redland Palomino Company take the pretty sound view that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. They carry on much in the same vein as on 2004’s By The Time You Hear This…We’ll Be Gone, and quite rightly so. That was a debut that fulfilled the promise of their solid three years of gigging. They’ve continued along the same lines and here’s another splendid set of road-tested country rock corkers.

They’ve even stuck with the policy of having a Rockingbird to produce. In fact, in Chris Clarke and Sean Read, they’ve used two. Sean also provides piano adornment to a number of the songs and throughout extra strings, trumpets, and accordion appear to pleasing effect.

Given the genre it’s unsurprisingly a collection strong on melancholy but that’s what Hannah Elton-Wall’s singing was made for. Husband Alex seems a deal more at ease with the roughness in his voice, and they do work well together. When they combine on the third verse of ‘Wasted On You’ it’s awesome.

One of the great things about them is they don’t pretend to be Yanks. They often write from their own experience; Alex’s ‘Coastline’ is a heart-felt recollection of childhood all the better for its lack of drama. Otherwise it’s the universal theme of loss that could happen anywhere, though there is a little thought that the epic title track might be set in Baltimore.

Penultimate track ‘Pick Up, Shut Up’ is the real all-out rocker of the set and features the guitar of Tom Bowen, once of Goldwing and now signed up to the Redlands full time. He’s going to add an interesting new ingredient to the mix from here on in but it’ll be building on something that’s damn fine already.


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