Want something to get excited about? Then check out Rum Thief and superb second EP Reach For the Weatherman. There has already been an eager buzz about the band from live shows and especially last year’s debut EP Clouded Mind, but we suggest nothing compared to what will be stirred up by this new outstanding encounter.
Rum Thief is the solo project of Manchester bred Jot Green, a musician who after a decade plus of playing drums in bands decided to bring his own songs to light. He surrounds himself with friends live, currently guitarist Johnny Brown, bassist Iain McGowen, and drummer Chris Hobs joining Green on stage, whilst the EP’s are all the man alone. As mentioned, Clouded Mind awoke attention and helped spark a potent local appetite for the band’s live presence, its sounds and a just as lively and provocative lyrical side luring acclaim and radio play. Now making a roar at a national spotlight, Reach For the Weatherman builds on its predecessor’s strengths and lures, matching its power and success whilst bringing an even more honed and vital breath to melodies, hooks, and simply the open passion fuelling songs.
Reach For The Weatherman opens with its title track, a moody yet vivacious bass coaxing aligned to choppy ska seeded riffs marking the swiftly enticing entrance of the song. Just as quickly spicy hooks and jabbing beats join the escapade, whilst the gripping and distinctive tones of Green’s vocals add further irresistible drama to the increasingly contagious proposal. Sonically fiery with a scent of surf rock to its chorus, the song is a multi-flavoured, feverishly coloured stomp; rock ‘n’ roll leading to addictions and lustful inclinations. It is glorious, small but striking twists amidst a tapestry of vocal and musical imagination stirring up body and emotions from start to finish.
The exceptional start is potently backed by Stitch In Time, though it cannot quite reach the same heights and spark the same slavery as its predecessor. Nevertheless with a pungently forceful stroll in gait and rhythms within tangy guitar caresses, the song magnetically swings along leading ears across a landscape of emotive expression and vocals alongside a vibrant flame of melodic tenacity. The Arctic Monkeys essence which only whispered in the first song, is a stronger enjoyable hue here, but just one spice amongst many strands of varied rock flavours colluding to create something unique and again riveting.
New single Dirty Shoes kicks it all up again to epidemic proportions, its initial union of acoustic guitar and the ever alluring vocals of Green, the lead and spark to a precocious shuffle of rockabilly like rhythms and hooks amongst tendrils of melodic and grooved devilry. The track just grows in the ear, its body maturing and basking in the seemingly simple yet skilfully woven fusion of sound and heart driven energy. The song is as the first, an epidemic of contagion and adventure; both tracks stealing the show from the grasp of equally exciting encounters.
The acoustic seduction of My Friend closes up the EP, it also part of the double A-sided new single with the previous song. Keys are soon snuggling up to the vocal and guitar embrace starting things off, whilst emotive and intimate tones line every syllable and chord as the song brews up a fuller and more intensive, though never imposing hug. It is a fascinating end to an outstanding release, another glimpse at the strong and diverse songwriting flowing from the imagination of Green.
Having missed Rum Thief’s first EP, a look back shows it to have been a striking first step for Green and his project but just the taster for the masterful and mighty appearance of Reach For the Weatherman. As asked at the start of this piece, want to get a buzz on? Then this EP will fully satisfy and much more. There are very big things ahead for Rum Thief we suspect.
The Reach For the Weatherman EP is available from July 27th
EP Launch Party, 21st August @ Night and Day Cafe, Oldham St, Manchester in association with Scruff of the Neck Records.