Haunted Heart

Cowbell

Damaged Goods, 2017

http://http://www.cowbelltheband.co.uk

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/08/2017

Jack Sandham and Wednesday Lyle, better known as Cowbell, may be from London, but their style of music is founded in minimalist American rockabilly. They have just issued their third album titled my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Haunted Heart.

In the past, they have performed and recorded as a duo, with Sandham on guitar and vocals and Lyle handling drums and vocals. They have now added some keyboards, which fills in some of the gaps a duo can’t help but create. Still, it is Sandham’s crunching and driving guitar runs that connect the music to the American South.

In many ways, Cowbell is a garage band that has evolved beyond those limitations. While they still keep their approach fairly simple, they do take some chances, which enhances their sound and makes the music more interesting.

“Nothing But Trouble” and “No Wrong” take their sound to the edge of the Delta Blues. “Neon Blue” and “Doom Train” benefit from some swirling psychedelic organ that fuses with Sandham’s guitar tone.

They travel in a different direction when Lyle takes over lead vocal duties. As a woman, she brings a different feel to their music. “Downlow” is a climb into the time machine for a trip back to the late 1960s and the Woodstock nation. “New Kind Of Love” stands out because it runs counter to all the other tracks on the disc. It channels Patti Page and Peggy Lee as an old style torch song that you used to find in a small smoke-laden bar late at night.

Haunted Heart is a raw and energetic album that will have you tapping your feet along with the beat. It is also their most accessible release and shines brightly with repeated listens.

Rating: B

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