Known as the vocalist/guitarist with the excellent UK rock band This Wicked Tongue, a quartet who released one of the best singles of 2013 in Mick Hucknall’s Hair, Tina V has stepped forward with her debut album to show a captivating diversity to her presence, songwriting, and invention. Consisting of ten tracks which employ essences of rock, electro, folk, pop and much more, Cut The Tent is an album which persistently dances and rocks, seduces and stirs up the senses. Most of all it is a proposition which irresistibly ignites the imagination and passions, an encounter set to thrust the lady into the keenest of spotlights you suspect.
Tina V, the performing name of Christina Maynard, is the founding member of This Wicked Tongue which began in 2010, not long after she had started performing solo. At the start the band beefed up her existing compositions before evolving into its own material to increasing attention and success with fans and media around the globe. Now Tina gives her solo side a sizeable airing and it is hard not to be thoroughly impressed and excited for her first offering. Recorded with Dave Draper (Spunge, Dodgy, Kerbdog), Cut The Tent follows her You Don’t Know Me EP of 2011, a release which it seems like us a great many missed, something you cannot see happening with the new album. The years between her solo offerings has seen This Wicked Tongue release a trio of increasingly acclaimed EPs as well as that triumph of a single, with Tina also engaging in numerous collaborations within styles from dubstep to classic rock. It is easy to suggest though that her finest hour to date is with Cut The Tent.
As soon as opening track Going Home embraces ears there is the feeling of a returning friend, the tones and potent voice of Tina as memorable and impressive as with her band but also with an immediately new and fresh twist and adventure. The first track cups the ear in thudding dulled beats and the harmonic beauty of Tina’s voice initially for a gentle caressing which grows through just as seductive harmonies as an electro seeded energy slowly but openly raises its head. Tina is soon unveiling the full lyrical narrative whilst adding a hint of fire to the encounter, a heat soon expelled forcibly with a melodic rock thrust of purposeful riffs and swiping rhythms. In full swing the track strides like a mix of dance music and gothic heavy rock, essences of Lacuna Coil seeping into the magnetic incitement for a rich and compelling start to the release.
You kind of assume from the track that you have an early handle of the album but those ideas are swiftly left floundering as the deliciously mischievous Feel Less steps in next. An acoustic punkish wipe of guitar makes the first suasion on ears before being swamped by a glorious jangle of guitars within a maze of melodic enterprise. This masterful weave intensifies as the song reaches deeper in thoughts and passions with its inventive endeavour, hooks and melodies a constant tango of broadly grinning revelry. It is pop rock at it very best with a puppeteer ability to make feet and passions dance to its every whim.
The title track comes next, agitated beats skirting Tina’s emotive tones with fuzz lent guitar lures adding evocative hues to the emerging melody sculpted canvas of emotion and elegance. With keys and harmonies adding their colour to the evolving scenery, a landscape which seamlessly punches with sinew bred steps or glides with stringed beauty, the song is a flame of dramatic melodic rock. It adds yet another facet to the character of the album as does the brilliantly bewitching Don’t Cry. A piano croon matched by additional keys makes the first breath of temptation before effect surfaced vocals trip eagerly between their evocative lines. It is a strong draw but it is when the song kicks off its shoes for a shuffle of fascinating almost devilish invention that it explodes to a new mesmeric plateau. Again rock and pop merge for a lasting suasion but equally flirtations of classical, melodic, and RnB to name just three of the flavours, add their tonic to the feisty aural wine.
The diversity keeps coming as first Could Have Saved and then First Born unveil their musically poetic ventures. The first of the two is a noir coloured captivation with pungent keys casting shadows over the vocal and musical drama brewing beneath. As intensive and sultry as it is sinisterly mysterious yet insatiably beautiful, the song is another pinnacle of the release. Its successor holds onto the tempered gothic feel as it casts its own melodic and provocative flame of sound and enterprise. A tide of irresistible harmonies and melodies veined by slight but spicy minimalistic intrigue from keys, the song engulfs the senses in a tenacious climate of sound.
The emotive balladry of And I’m Trying brings a warm breath over the senses, its body and charm epically potent but lacking the spark which ignited earlier songs whilst Golden provides another punchy pop rock canter with just a hint of country seeding. It also fails to meet the high demands implanted by its predecessors but still engages feet and emotions in a catchy and hunger feeding romp, both tracks continuing to push the album deeper into a lustful appetite.
The electro fuelled, eighties synth rock sprayed Tomorrow Comes ignites body and emotions fully again, its fire hot pop romping impossible to resist, even though it flirts with the mainstream area of the genre more than liked. To be fair though with bold rhythms and those ever commanding vocals, submission is inevitable with the track leaving a thick dose of pleasure in its wake which the closing ballad I Watch The Sunrise brings a hypnotic sunset to. With keys and Tina’s voice transfixing, the song is a final hug for thoughts and emotions, and a masterful end to a thrilling release.
If you are expecting something similar to This Wicked Tongue then you will be given much to eagerly devour, but a whole lot more varied ingenuity and enthralling invention to bask in. Cut The Intent is a masterpiece of melodic and unexpected adventure, and Tina V a presence, in whichever side of her creativity she offers, we will be increasingly pleasured by you can only suspect.
Cut The Tent is released on July 21st with the first single from the album, And I’m Trying available now.
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