Chris Mullin – Sooner or Later

Last year Chris Mullin, the bassist/co-songwriter of Liverpool outfit The Sums, took time out to explore the solo side of his musical imagination, the result a debut EP which was as richly enjoyable as it was heartfelt. This year he has done the same. Momentarily taking time away from recording The Sum’s third album, Mullins has created and unveiled a new collection of tracks in the shape of the Sooner or Later EP, an encounter which simply puts its impressive predecessor in the shade.

Also former member of Hurricane #1, Mullin has been a potent part of his home city’s current musical fabric through The Sums, his other projects and writing and also producing. As shown by the previous Myself Fooling Me EP, his solo side music has the potential to be just as impacting; indeed the introduction to his own sounds easily drew acclaim and attention. As suggested, Sooner or Later builds on and eclipses the emotively woven and sensitively delivered sounds of its predecessor. It has a spring in its step contrasting the melancholic gait of the first release but still embraces its calm and intimacy with fresh adventure and imagination.

Released on his self-owned Nowhere Music, Sooner or Later opens up with the immediately infectious Lonely Fools. Its initial melodic clang easily tempted ears, the subsequent reflective stroll centred by bass, voice, and guitar captivating them as melodic shimmers and sonic caresses surround the Mullin’s lure. Though not exactly in sound, there is something of Pete Wylie to the outstanding track, a slice of indie pop intimation and infection which just lit our ears and appetite.

The following Just Want You to Know is equally as magnetic, its instinctive catchiness aligned to personal openness in tone and word. Rhythms again entice as keys suggest and guitars weave, vocals making their earnest declaration with equal allurement and sincerity. As the first, the song is nothing less than contagious pleasure, third song, Dissatisfied Mind, enticing from the same instinctive template. Its shadows come with hopeful light, its emotional insecurity with a vibrancy that wants to escape within a weave of sound which just seduced ears.

The track completes easily the three best songs from Mullin’s solo work yet, a trio alone making Sooner or Later one irresistible proposition with the icing on the cake being its title track. An acoustic croon with imagination embracing orchestration, bold adventure, and organic catchiness understated but lively as it infests the spirit, the track just enthrals as it pleasures; those few words pretty much summing up the Sooner or Later EP as a whole.

The rumour is that Mullin’s next offering might be a full-length adventure; we for one are not only up for that, after Sooner or Later, we are greedy for it.

Sooner or Later is out now on Nowhere Music, available as download only from most stores and

Pete RingMaster 24/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Canvas Wall: Thinking Out Loud

After the first listen to the debut album from UK alternative rock band Canvas Wall came to a close the first reaction was WOW! Subsequent plays and attention to Thinking Out Loud only enforced that reaction to louder and greater heights as the album showed itself to be one of the more inspiring releases this year. Every song no matter its delivery, whether reserved and expressive or charging and dramatic, is a big hearted anthemic infection which is irresistible to resist. The album has a familiar gait brought through unfamiliar sounds and songs to make for a strong and frequent companion long into the future.

The band formed in 2008 from the seeds of the combined of talents of Simon Dounis (vocals, guitar)and Craig Rogerson (drums),who were already playing together in Malta. Relocating to the UK, the pair was joined by Alvin Ho (guitar) and Nathan Bryans (bass) as the band found a full and powerful line-up. The next couple of years saw the quartet working on new material as well as touring, with their live debut coming at the 100 Club in London. Their debut single Sooner or Later and the quickly following by Close to the Edge, both found strong responses and good acclaim in 2010 from media and fans alike. With a video for the second song the following year made by the world famous visual effects company, The Mill, building and increasing the momentum of the band, new album Thinking Out Loud has all the armoury and stunning sounds to throw Canvas Wall right into the deserved headlights of mass exposure.

Financed through Pledgemusic, the album is an instant glamour for the senses with opener City Lights, its charms and melodic infection as dazzling as the subjects in its title. With stomping beats and charged riffs the song paces the senses with eager intent, and once joined by the impressive vocals of Dounis who instantly marks himself as a fine and impressive voice, it draws an even deeper connection from its guest. With big melodies to accompany the bulging anthemic feel it offers, the track is a magnetic lure from which there is no willing return, a stirring and impactful beginning from which any album could learn a thing or two.

The following Make it Count takes a step back on the energy though is no less dramatic in its presence. Already by this he second song that earlier mentioned familiarity is a strong caress upon the ear though no one comes to mind as an obvious comparison. With the big boned rhythms and burning melodic power there are pop essences of a Lloyd Cole and The Commotions and the rock textures of a Soundgarden or Pearl Jam but it is all uniquely and thrillingly Canvas Wall.

The excellent Stand On A Mountain and new single The Road To Bliss continue the stunning quality, the first another part stadium rock like powder keg of infection and the second, an eighties whispering electro touching slice of imaginative and towering triumph which ignites tingles where tingle fear to tread.

As the likes of the swaggering I Wish You Well, the riveting Take It All with its twisting dynamics and a title which epitomises the whole attitude of the album, and the brilliant Close To The Edge ignite the heart, the release is verging on places only loved ones can access. The latter of the three is an orgasmic aural slice of magnificence which will forever play in the head every time the band name is mentioned. With power chords as incendiary as any storm and a passion which is impossible to resist the song is a colossus of rock pop majesty.

From beginning to end Thinking Out Loud is a stunning romp from which the deepest satisfaction is spawn, the further likes of Don’t Look Down, What Have I Done, and Not In My Hands to name just three more, continuing the constant rapture. Canvas Wall are a big band with even larger sounds and the time ahead just the gateway for them to explode to the greatest heights.

RingMaster 10/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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