Appetite for the new album from UK band The Sons was certainly awoken by their recent single Relic, but to say that the warm irresistible might of Heading into Land was expected would be a little misleading. Certainly the single brought strong hopes its full-length source but not to the extent that the album would dance with the imagination and fire up the emotions. The twelve track release is vibrant refreshment for the summer, a warm consoling for darker times, and one thoroughly enjoyable romp.
Consisting of Paul Herron (vocals, piano, guitar), Steven Herron (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Roger Millichamp (drums), Stewart English (vocals, guitar), Lee Blades (vocals, bass), the 2002 formed Derby indie rock quintet has employed inspirations from the likes of Crowded House, Wilco, Paul Simon, and Fleetwood Mac into a unique sound which has already brought acclaim and floods of fans through previous albums, Visiting Hours of 2007 and its successor The Prime Words Committee four years later. Their sound fuses in elements of folk and rhythm and blues into a melodic rock presence which is varied and persistently intriguing. Heading Into Land is their next adventure, a release for which The Sons started a Kickstarter campaign in late 2012. Despite raising over £11,500, the band just missed their target but rather than sink into pity came back with their own home-grown crowd-funding campaign. It was a successful endeavour thanks to their ever supporting fanbase and innovative rewards with Heading Into Land the result, a thoroughly enjoyable encounter to those who helped bring it to be, we should all share a thank you.
The immediately engaging Right Colour Makeup sets the album off on a strong note, a piano casting melodic expression as the vocals begin parading the narrative of the song. With similarly enticing rhythms the song makes a tempting start before darker bass tones and flirting guitar designs wrap ears. At times there is a feel of XTC to the offering as well as Union Starr within the expanding melodic caress, a flavour easy to consume, as is the song in its impressive entirety.
The strong start is matched by Death Love Money, a track with a sultry air to its stroll and expressive punch to its vocal and melodic swagger. There is also a southern croon to the heart of the song which colours its magnetic canvas, a landscape again crafted through the emotive hues of keys and guitar. A familiarity is also prevalent but only to add further suasion to the tempting, an air as with most of the songs breeding immediate friendship for ears and thoughts. That flavouring in another unique character flirts from within the deliciously rhythmic temptation of Crowd Went Wild. The rhythms of Millichamp roam enticingly across senses and imagination, every beat evocatively leading thoughts into an instinctive and organic canter of smouldering melodies and vocal descriptions. It is a glorious encounter, the first of a few lofty pinnacles within the already impressive release.
Both the riveting When I Want To and the I’m Not Happy keep fun and pleasure aflame, the first with its nagging piano lure and poetic guitar melodies. There is also a drama to the easy going and flowing persuasion which makes every note and syllable a spark for the imagination whilst its successor shuffles and twists like a Caribbean bred temptress, every swing of its rhythmic hips and wrapping of melodic caresses a vivaciously simmering seduction. It is an aural cruise for thoughts to bask in and emotions to explore, a reassuring siren for the heart leading into the immensely captivating Relic. Released a short few weeks ago, the song as mentioned laid down compelling bait and still after numerous excursions of its evocative seizure of ears and imagination, continues to ignite the strongest hunger. Opening on a gentle swing of emotive keys, subtle groaning bass, and the expressive voice of Paul Herron, the track evolves into an enthralling smouldering of mouthwatering enterprise and imagination. Intrigue sculpted crescendos erupt across the song’s body, each accompanied by melodic mystique and irresistible design from guitars and keys, whilst the bass groans with riveting expression. The song quite simply is melancholic beauty which just gets better with age.
We See Stars is another song destined to be a long-term friend, its crisp rhythms courted by the ever appealing throaty voice of the bass beneath absorbing breezes of melodies and creative imagination. As the album, there is a freshness and rich melodic colour to the castings on ears, a unique vibrancy which is just as open on the folk hug of On The Corner where dark velvety string plucks of assumedly an upright bass steal the show. Both tracks embrace and invigorate, though admittedly not to the extent of the outstanding Flash And Bang which follows. With bass carvings and an electrified web of guitar, the track is an anthemic indie rocker clad in inventive mischief and boisterous revelry. With a wind of eighties new wave and a vein of Late Cambrian like power pop, the track takes top honours on the album, sinews and melodic relish ablaze to incite feet and passion with puppeteer artistry.
A southern country bred air returns to soaks the next up Hard Life, another song which consumes thoughts with a gentle but formidable potency, if without exciting as infectiously as previous tracks. It is still a highly appealing turn in the album, setting up emotions for the excellent reggae seeded stepping of Down Sometimes, a track swerving its body with melodic fantasy and quirky key stabs for a beautifully sculpted and presented stroll. Feet and voice are instant slaves to the song so that the listener goes into the final title track on a high to fully embrace its dramatic and stormy yet uplifting landscape and emotional journey. It is a fine end to an impressive album which leaves ears and pleasure basking in melodic and creative mastery.
The Sons has been described as a ‘best kept secret’ but after the so easy to recommend Heading Into Land hits shore it is easy to suspect that the term will be quite redundant.
Heading Into Land is available now!
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