Album Review: Angie and the Deserters – Blood Like Wine

Angie and the Deserters

photo courtesy of Miles High Productions

Angie and the Deserters – Blood Like Wine

EP Review of Angie and the Deserters: Blood Like Wine

Angie and the Deserters - Blood Like Wine

image courtesy of Miles High Productions

Your jugular. That’s what Angie Bruyere grabs you by with the opening strains of “Country Radio,” the first track on this energetic, engaging six-song collection. Americana-billy, if I had to give it a name. Angie and the Deserters pair a country twang with a rockin’ attitude and rhythm, with an engaging fiddle mixed in for good measure. If I had to compare Angie’s voice to anyone’s on this first track, I’d say it reminds me of Sarah Borges.

But it’s followed by the crooning twanger “Smile,” a Patsy Cline-ish, school-dance-in-a-gymnasium ballad that’s soaked in slide guitar and fiddle in all the right places. Two songs in, and it’s obvious Angie and the Deserters have range.

Angie Bruyere

photo courtesy of Miles High Productions

“The Gift” is a rather spooky, deserted old-west flavored, haunting tango.

“Ain’t Goin’ Down” comes across like an Angie and the Deserters spin on Tom Petty… if Tom Petty had a hoarsely sexy voice that cracked with emotion like a young Demi Moore and combined it with a country bad-girl attitude.

“Don’t Cry” is a more sensitive number, Americana-meets-Fleetwood Mac at times. It’s smooth enough to cross over to fans of soft rock, top 40, country, classic rock… I can see nearly endless avenues of appeal for this well-written, melodic track.

Angie Bruyere

photo courtesy of Miles High Productions

The package is wrapped up by “On My Way,” another rockabilly-Americana blend, though this is a mellower, more wide-open-spaces take on the genre. Still, as throughout the disc, Angie’s voice cracks in all the most alluring spots, providing an edge to an otherwise smooth, crisp sound.

From beginning to end, Blood Like Wine just jumps out of the speakers and grabs the listeners by the throat… or maybe the ears. But with just six songs, it ends too soon; but not for long. Impatient new fans can reach back and seek out the band’s 2015 debut, the full-length album West of The Night. And Angie and the Deserters also plan to release another EP in October, sharing the second half of the band’s recent Nashville recordings. Not such a long wait to hear more of what this group has to offer.

Album Review: Body English – Stories of Earth

Body English

photo courtesy of Body English

Body English – Stories of Earth

Album Review of Body English: Stories of Earth

Body English -Stories of Earth

image courtesy of Body English

Supertramp meets Phantom of the Opera. Gordon Lightfoot covers Looking Glass’ “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl).” Don McLean co-writes with Harry Chapin and Squeeze. High-vocalled soft-progressive ’70s-style pop-rock with a modern twist. Body English is a unique group that combines disparate elements of that certain style of classic rock with a modern progressive flair. It’s a style from that era whose sound is not as often updated by modern rockers and, as such, Stories of Earth is an especially interesting bit of ear candy.

Body English

photo courtesy of Body English

This collection kicks off with perhaps its most commercial, catchiest track, “Kiss Them.” Blending ’70s pop-rock guitar and dynamic, emotional vocals before a wall-of-sound backdrop at times, this track is an energetic, cheerful welcome.

Another standout on this disc, “Prose and Poetry” adds a nicely sensitive, folk-reminiscent vocal crackle to a building, eventually relatively psychedelic (perhaps a bit Who-inspired) musical backdrop by mid-song.

Body English

photo courtesy of Body English

You’ll certainly have your own favorites. Perhaps “I Don’t Wanna Be a Housewife (For Someone Else’s Family)” with its horn-driven opening and clever lyrics. Maybe the energetic “Rock and Roll Will Save You,” a song that somehow incorporates the occasional rockabilly note into its otherwise very progressive DNA. Or possibly the 10 1/2 minute magnum opus that closes the disc in true ’70s progressive rock form, “The Humour in the Heart of the Old Grey Mountain.”

Give this album a few listens. Its spin on the genre is a bit unexpected, but it really grows on you.

To check it out, you can find a stream of Stories of Earth on SoundCloud.