The fact that this is an old school blues album recorded in the middle of the flower farm just makes it that much cooler, really. And it really is old school too – the ringing strums of electric guitar, the solid and curling vocals set above the popping bass – it’s all a bit early 70’s.
Written, recorded, mixed, mastered, produced – whatever else goes in there – by the band themselves, Ask is a surprisingly smooth release for being recorded in a shed. The songs are carefully constructed, rarely stepping a toe out of line, except for the occasional swerving guitar solos. This is in many ways an old record, but recorded with a new ear.
Even more than that, there are some great tracks here: opener ‘Ask’ jumps out of the gate with a hopping drum line and a nice chorus hook. ‘What’s In A Name’ relies on a swaying backbeat and low, thrumming bass line to take things down a notch. “Eliza Jane” goes a bit California Americana, and ‘I’ll Be Back Someday’ has probably the sweetest opening lick of the album. There are only a couple of misses – ‘Angel’ doesn’t have the kick of the others, and ‘You’re On A Ride’ only really gets going at the solo.
The lyrics, whilst pretty simplistic, do the job – and who really listens to a blues/rock album for the lyrics anyway? What really kicks about this is that it’s easy – it doesn’t demand much in the way of a cerebral workout to listen to it, and it shouldn’t.
Probably more than anything, Ask, is just a great listen, brimming with musicianship and some thoroughly good sounds.