Hello all, sorry for the prolonged absence, I have been busy. More on that by the weekend hopefully.
Today I’m reviewing a little music for you. I’ll be honest there are loads and loads of albums I have thought about reviewing:
Slipknots We Are Not Your Kind, Rammstein’s self-titled monster of an album, Trivium’s outstanding What the Dead Men Say, all come to mind immediately as fodder for the review machine, but no, I made an active decision not to review them.
My first music review on here isn’t for something you’d expect.
I give you Ric Birtill’s debut album “Pullin a Sickie.”
I don’t know how I know of Ric. I think I may have wanted to buy some records from him at one time or another and we ended up as the old Facebook friends who don’t really interact. But, I am a sucker for new music and will often click on a link just to see what it sounds like. I’ve seen some of the things he’s released to the public and it wasn’t always to my taste, but I respect the work that went into them. The other day I saw Ric posted his video for ‘Don’t Leave the House’. Which I watched, utterly enjoyed and went on to share.
When I recently saw he had released his debut album on Bandcamp, I thought I’d give it a listen, see if it’s any good. And I’m really glad I did.
Pullin a Sickie isn’t the longest album you’ll ever listen to, I might be up there with the shortest at around 35 mins in total, split over thirteen songs. That’s some short songs and usually, I’d be a bit grumpy at that, but on this occasion shorter is definitely sweeter.
What you really want to know is what does the album sound like and why have I decided I like it?
Well. Here goes.
Topical, occasionally intentionally amusing, punk-folk acoustic-guitar-based pop-rock.
How’s that? I agree too many hyphens.
Let me try again. It’s funny at times but telling. It’s catchy yet very relevant. It’s an honest, genuine album that the working class from round this way (and everywhere else) can listen to, relate with and enjoy.
It’s also odd ,and not in a bad way. I don’t like using the word quirky, but it really is and on my first listen I was about halfway through and I wondered if this was one of those listen once and never come back to affairs, but I was walking the dogs and found myself mumbling the words to “Don’t Give Up Your Day Job” and a few of the different vocal hooks playing through my head throughout the walk. Which made me want to come back to it. So I did. Then again. Then a few more times when I was writing this. I don’t think there is a weak song on this album, which is a high bar for anyone to aspire to.
Stand out tracks for me are ‘Let’s Get Pissed’, which is a worryingly tender ode to that classic combination of alcohol and loneliness. ‘It Pays the Bills’ is a singalong anthemic ode to the joys of having a job that isn’t your passion, and not being able to do what you really want to do.
Oh and check out ‘Curtain Twitcher’ which made me laugh, probably inappropriately as it’s a murder ballad.
‘Look at you ,you can dance, you slut drop with eloquence’ is one of the best half-rhymes I have heard for ages and raised a genuine giggle when I heard it. I wish I had written it. There is some excellent wordsmithing that has gone into the lyrics of this album, and they are bound to, at least, raise a smile to the listener at times, wry or otherwise.
I also really enjoy the musical homages littered through the album: Metallica’s ‘Seek and Destroy’ in ‘Pull a Sickie’’, Queens ‘Save Me’ in ‘I Wish I Was a Plumber ‘and I’m sure there are more you have the correct musical reference points.
You can listen to Pullin’ a Sickie HERE for free , and if like me, you like it, you can also buy it there as well for as much or as little as you decide.
You can find each track on You Tube as well.
And you absolutely should.
Slipknot, Rammstein and Trivium will all survive just fine without me scribbling some words here about them. I reckon Ric will be more than happy if I manage to push a few new listeners his way.
Go on give it a listen, you’ll enjoy it.,