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The Bloody Angle - The Bloody Angle


RELEASE INFO

LABEL: Independent Records
RELEASE DATE: Available Now
FORMATS: CD / Digital

Band Members

Matt Singleton: Guitar, Vocals, Keys, Bass, Producer, Engineer and Songwriter
Jason Butler: Guitar, Lap Steel, Slide
Dustin Bugg: Drums, Backing Vocals
Brian Temples: Bass, Backing Vocals

BIOGRAPHY

The Bloody Angle plays southern-fried swamp rock, with a touch of americana and a hint of country. Gritty guitars, lap-steel, and finger-picking support vocal harmonies and traditional keyboard tones. The sound conjures the southern countryside, civil war battlefields and backroad watering holes. Influences include Drive By Truckers, Jack White and Neil Young.

The eponymous debut album will be available October 16, 2012. The album was recorded entirely in the analog realm, at producer-songwriter Matt Singleton’s studio in the Central Virginia countryside. “We wanted to produce a record that was warm, immediate, and spontaneous.” quotes Singleton. “This album was a direct backlash against the modern style of making music... no edits, no grid, no auto-tune. We wrote and performed together in the studio, and captured the songs to tape as they came out, warts and all.” When the record was finished, the band had the vinyl masters cut directly from the analog tape. “As far as we can tell, there is only one guy around who even does this anymore. Carl Rowatti, at Trutone Mastering Labs in New York. We went up and watched him cut it. So cool.”

The songs toggle between personal stories and character driven studies. The common thread is the southern landscape, where the stories live among the soldiers, drunks, bible-thumpers and other characters that Singleton either encounters, inhabits, or pulls from the pages of history.

The Bloody Angle was formed when Singleton and guitarist Jason Butler got together in early 2011. “Jason had just had a project go south on him, and I had been out of the performing scene for a while, focusing on producing and recording other acts from up and down the coast.” says Matt. “He posted on Facebook that he was looking to start a project, and I gave him a shout.” Singleton had produced a record for Butler’s band Whitebird in 2005, and they had enjoyed working together. “We knew we had similar influences, and ideas about how a record should sound.” Says Butler. “It was pretty apparent from early on that we had a good chemistry, and that our playing complimented each other well”. After about six months of writing and demoing, they brought in drummer Dustin Bugg and bassist Brian Temples, and started working on the album in earnest. “Dustin, Brian and I had already played together in a project in the early 2000’s, so it was a pretty easy call to bring them in” says Singleton. “We wrote a song together the first night in the studio in about 20 minutes.”

After over a year in the studio, the band is excited about the upcoming release, and live performances. “We have all been doing this a long time.” says Singleton. “The chemistry is there. It’s been a long time coming, and we are pretty proud of this record. We can’t wait until it drops, and we hit the stage to bring it live”.

Review

October 12th, 2012. By Ollie Kamp for http://whatculture.com

The impression I got when listening to The Bloody Angle’s eponymous debut was that they very much live for traditionalism. Aside from channeling the sort of ‘meat and potatoes’ generic southern American rock, the band pride themselves on recording the entire of this album using analogue techniques.  Front man Matt Singleton: “This album was a direct backlash against the modern style of making music…no edits, no grid, no auto-tune”. Now I have some friendly advice for Mr Singleton: good music is less how and more what – as an avid music fan I could not care less which recording technique you used in the studio, as long as it sounds good.

Next time boys, more focus on songwriting and less on production.

The core problem with this record is it has no identity. When it’s not busy nodding to other musical stylings and expressions, its pushing forward cliché-ridden solos that are half-baked and flat. Specifically in Devil’s Runnin’ Scared, guitarist Jason Butler relies on lazy bends and triplet runs to fill his solo slot.  Elsewhere, musically none of the band gives the songwriting any flare, settling on dragging themselves and the listener through the 45-minute void of unidentifiable slop.

On Alligator, the middle eight is filled with an awful cringe-inducing harmonic phrase that doesn’t even try to connect with the rest of the song.

Singleton unfortunately does not have a voice to front a band. He sings forcefully as if it’s not natural for him to sing, and there is nothing standout about his vocals to stop it drowning in the ‘southern-fried swamp rock’, (their words, not mine).  The lyricism is weak and uninspiring, the point where Singleton barks ‘I love you like an alligator’ was for me the point where I gave up.

The inclusion of lap steel guitar is an attempt on the part of the band to maintain an authenticity to their southern sound, which I cannot deny succeeds in doing so. However jumping between stomping rock power chords, Americana and country flattens their intent and gives the feeling of a halfhearted tour of musical heritage. Perhaps focusing on one of these genres would have reinforced their identity and given the record a greater sense of coherence.

I’m all for bands revisiting older styles of music and building upon them, especially with bands like The Gaslight Anthem using their influences to intensify the emotional heart of their songs. The thing with The Bloody Angle is they don’t do this, they don’t have a great amount of instrumental talent OR any songwriting skill. So there really isn’t anything I can recommend about this record.





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