Paul Menel and The Essentials

Paul Menel pic 1_RingMaster Review

Having teased us all in regard to their new album with recently released single They Call Her Leaf, Paul Menel and The Essentials have offered a bigger insight into in their forthcoming full-length with a five track sampler. Primarily a promotional tool to awaken media attention, all we can say is if the five tracks within its walls are an indication of the album to come, the band has a sure-fire success on their hands with Spare Parts for Broken Hearts.

Led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Paul Menel, an artist who fronted prog rock band IQ from 1985 to 1990 and whose previous solo albums in Carpenter From Nazareth Seeks Joiners and Into Insignificance I Will Pale have met with increasing success and acclaim, the band is proving itself to be one of the bright winds on the British rock scene. The line-up is completed on the Gav Monaghan produced Spare Parts for Broken Hearts by bassist Steve Swift and drummer Tim Churchman but also sees numerous guest appearances including Vix Vox of Fuzzbox who features on the opening song from the sampler, that latest single They Call Her Leaf.

From its initial tingle of melodic guitar the song is perpetual captivation, escalating its potency as the strong vocals of Menel join rich melodies and resonating beats. Shadows come from a tasty, if understated, bassline whilst atmosphere and suggestive expression oozes from every aspect of the aural fascination. There is no escaping a Peter Gabriel essence to the flowing folkish charm and dramatic colourful of the song it has to be said, but it is a hue only adding to the refreshing imagination and originality flowing freely around and in the vocal roar of Menel. With the siren tones of Vox equally entrancing within the richly flavoured fusion of progressive and classic rock, The track is a master of ears, and just as powerful and irresistible after a torrent of plays as it was first time around.

The second song on the sampler is Walk In My Shoes, a glow of voice and emotive melodies spread further by harmonies and keys. The song quickly reveals a different shade to the sound and songwriting of Menel and band, its classic elegance and emotive intensity a warm slice of thick balladry. It is a potent and powerful proposition but not one which sparks with personal tastes and that is the only issue it has, just trying to please someone missing an appetite for its kind of temptation.

There is going to be plenty of rock ‘n’ roll diversity across Spare Parts for Broken Hearts going by this early taster too, the third song Strife strong evidence with its glorious post-punk/Bond like hook and steamy blues toned flame of guitar. Equally there is a theatre in the jungle of rhythms and expressive vocals which leave their addictive bait across the fifties/sixties laced rocker, all uniting in a glorious incitement as individual as the rest of the songs and equally riveting.

The title track from Spare Parts for Broken Hearts is another striking tempting on the sampler. Opening on a worldly chorus and also developing a bassline and stirring core as much punk as it is melodic rock, the track soon breaks into a feisty canter enveloped in a tapestry of melodies and varied styles; all the time increasing its virulent persuasion. Strings, brass, and keys serenade as robust rhythms lead the unpredictable and addictive waltz into igniting ears and imagination.

The final early look at the album on this release is Let’s Do It, another Gabriel-esque seduction loaded with a cosmopolitan air and world bred rhythms bred with shamanic hypnotism. There are glimpses of almost every flavour and corner of the globe somewhere within the scintillating party of the song, its title a suggestion you can only embrace and apply to checking out the full Spare Parts for Broken Hearts album when it is soon unveiled.

We will be there and hopefully you too as this sampler more than hints that there is something very special awaiting us.

The single They Call Her Leaf is out now via most online stores.

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http://www.paulmenelessentials.co.uk

Pete RingMaster 30/09/2015

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Paul Menel & The Essentials – They Call Her Leaf

Paul Menel pic 1_RingMaster Review

It is always a great move to tempt intrigue for your album with a slice of irresistibility, whether in single form, a video, or whatever and that is certainly what Paul Menel & The Essentials have down with new song They Call Her Leaf. Taking from their forthcoming album Spare Parts for Broken Hearts, the new single is a mighty lure of melodic, progressive, and classic rock that just captures ears and imagination.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Paul Menel is no newcomer to the rock scene. He was the frontman of prog rock band IQ from 1985 to 1990, and for two of their albums in the shape of Nomzamo and Are You Sitting Comfortably? in 1987 and ’89 respectively. After leaving the band he ‘rested’ for a few years, concentrating on a growing family and writing new songs. These subsequently became his debut album Carpenter From Nazareth Seeks Joiners, an encounter earning great plaudits amongst many. Its release and success in reviews led to producer Gav Monaghan (Robert Plant/Jack White/Peter Gabriel) getting in touch and persuading Menel to record at his Magic Garden Studio from where the acclaimed Into Insignificance I Will Pale emerged in 2012. Now with a new band also consisting of bassist Steve Swift and drummer Tim Churchman, Menel is poised to releaser their first album, Spare Parts For Broken Hearts, and before it this new rousing single.

The forthcoming album also features a host of guests including Monaghan, Julianne Bourne, and on They Call Her Leaf, Menel’s long-time friend Vix Vox of Fuzzbox. Inspired by the sense of hope when all seems hopeless and portrayed through Leaf, an “ethereal spirit who drives us on, unseen but ever present”, the song opens on a melodic coaxing which swiftly builds into a rich and pungent blend of crisp beats, dark bass tones, and elegant melodic endeavour. Already though there is enthralling thickness to the textures and flavours combining to fascinate ears and grip the imagination, an enthralling blend vivaciously embracing the vocals of Menel which bring a Peter Gabriel like hue to the colourful affair just to add a little more captivation to it all..

With folkish dew dripping off certain moments and the siren-esque tones of Vox a perpetual seducing throughout as her warm tones perfectly mix with the restrained but open roar of Menel, They Call Her Leaf just ignites body and thoughts. As suggested, there is a depth and extensive weave of sound and instrumentation to the song which ensures it proceeds to grow in strength and persuasion with every listen, musically and vocally.

They Call Her Leaf is pure temptation and if Spare Parts For Broken Hearts has more songs to match its beauty and anthemic roar, then we might potentially have a modern classic on our hands.

They Call Her Leaf is out now via most online stores.

Pete Ringmaster 14/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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