By: Callum Lavender
Available: 14th April 2014
Label: Rise Above Records
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/theshovell
Would it be fair of me to say that this is one for the older fans, no really not that I lived during that time but I’m pretty sure that this is the type of album that troubled teens from 1971-1977 would listen to again and again in there bedrooms on there record players, and then they would see this band at the weekends. I know a little of what that’s like cause as a child I grew up lower middle class and didn’t have mainstream internet or a great deal of free music at my finger tips. I remember if I wanted an album I brought it and would spend hours listening to it again and again through my headphones on my stereo hi-fi and those were my better days at that time (why do I suddenly feel old now?). Well I would of probably done the same with this record back in the day.
Upon my first listen I heard the classic old school America/British rock sound, the simple stuff that you would hear on vinyl. I did loose interest in many areas but then it gained it again in other places to.
The songs I enjoyed most and recommend are ‘Happiness Begins’, ‘Don’t Here It… Fear It’ and ‘Thicker The Better’.
The things I enjoyed about the album were the old rock nostalgic feel and the simple sound of an upcoming band performing and doing what they enjoy. The guitar sound/work, the bass sound/work and the drum sound/work are quite well done and I really liked the way it was mixed. Not only that but the vocals as well, I couldn’t make out a lot of the words but that didn’t really matter because the sound of Johnny’s voice really suited the style here and was mixed very well with the music so props to the engineer on this one.
The things I didn’t like was that despite the good sound and good ideas used there were quite a few times where I just lost my interest, mainly it was round about the second third of the album where my attention just dropped although thankfully it was able to climb back up again. The primary example of this would be ‘Captain Merryweather’, a good song with some cool ideas especially with those eerie atmosphere bits at the start but ultimately just couldn’t stay with it. On a related point a lot of the sound effects used were interesting but I did wonder if they really should have been there.
On a side note I did find the last song particularly interesting (and okayish) because it sounded like it could have been two songs at once, does anyone remember the days when albums had hidden songs on them and on the last one it was about seven plus minutes cause of those hidden tracks, well that’s what that was like.
This is a very nice replica and love letter to the music of its time and if that type of genre ever comes back in full force then this band and album will be the first in line. My final verdict for Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell – Check ‘em Before You Wreck ‘em is a 3.5/5, when it arrives be sure to give it a listen to hear an interesting and ‘paraphrased’ take on an era of rocks history.
Get in touch: https://www.facebook.com/callum.lavender
Check out the audio interview (thank you Johnny Gorilla & Jon Freeman): https://soundcloud.com/callumlavender/admiral-sir-cloudesley-shovell