Album Review of “Les Paul’s” (The Paul’s): A Mile Until Dawn
As you may recall from when I reviewed their Night Worker album last summer, “Les Paul’s” (The Paul’s) are Paul Odiase and Paul Robert Thomas. The Pauls. That album, Night Worker, was an overt homage to David Bowie. A Mile Until Dawn is another mid-tempo, seventies rock-influenced disc, with a little broader range of influences. Still, though, my first comparison would be to Bowie, as the disc’s somewhat hauntingly stretched vocal and guitar lines clearly have their roots in that same ’70s prog rock neighborhood.
An inviting guitar intro kicks off the disc, providing the opening riffs to the medium-hard-driving “There’s Nothing New Under the Sun.” With a hooky riff, pop-inspired synth elements, and an engaging tempo, it provides a catchy kickoff of A Mile Until Dawn. The following track, “You Just Kiss and Tell,” continues along a similarly rockin’ pace, adding a little vocal, lyrical, and musical conflict to the mix.
Like any artistic envelope-pushing progressive rock disc, though, A Mile Until Dawn isn’t just a straightforward rocker. “A Thousand Eyes” adds an ethereal element with guitars dancing in the distant mist, or so it seems.
“Anna Frank,” meanwhile, takes a more foreboding tone, suited to its subject matter, as “Les Paul’s” (The Paul’s) prove again they’re willing to tackle heavy issues in their musical collections.
Personally, I’m a bit fond of the faster-tempoed numbers on this disc like the two album-openers and “I Knew You Once,” a bit danceable and rather memorable. Also, I’m struck by a couple tracks that show a bit of New Wave influence: “Don’t Kick Me When I’m Down,” which also sports a rather punk attitude, and ’80s synth-y “No Use Crying Over Spilt Milk,” which suggests to me something that might spring from a collaboration between David Bowie and A Flock of Seagulls. Both of these tracks have grown into personal favorites.
The two final songs, “You Screwed Me Up” and “You F-cked Me Up” are two versions of the same repetitive-heavy-beat-driven song, presumably one a more radio-friendly version of the other. This heavy-rhythm-driven, combatively low-to-mid-tempo power rocker pounds along beginning to end, a bit of a progressive jam-rock number that’ll have listeners banging their heads and mock-drumming as the album draws to a close.
As with the previous album of theirs I reviewed, “Les Paul’s” (The Paul’s) have delivered another disc of artistically progressive, classic rock-influenced rock ‘n roll, simultaneously familiar and envelope-pushing.