Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
The sound of classic harmonies are filtered alongside moments of great bass guitar, the incredible pockets of a violin, mandolin, oboe, trumpet and clarinet playing and above all the music experience of witnessing an unexpectedly formidable and enjoyable play in little known venue in a part of town that you wouldn’t normally go to. This is the world of the great New York band Onward Chariots and their stunning debut album This is My Confession.
This is My Confession is an album that defies genre placement but offers so much in its ability to grab the listeners’ attention and play out its concept theme production in ways that other bands, certainly groups less assured in their vision, would steer clear from. The influences are wide ranging and all so bold in what the band need to make this a remarkable and instantly gratifying piece of music. From the mellow harmonies of the Beach Boys in their prime through Frank Zappa colourful career with bits of everything else in between thrown in for good measure, on paper it is a heady mix of styles that shouldn’t work but it does and how so well.
This may be down to the influence of the hometown of the group’s members, there is nothing like New York City to bring many variants of technique and fashion together and tailor them into something bold and exciting. It could of course be more to do with group themselves. Comprising Ben Morrs, Dan Davine, Rus Wimbish and Shawn Setaro, Onward Chariots are just brimming with the eclectic charm that American music lovers used to say about British music not that long ago.
The album itself has much going for it, lots of catchy tracks and a great narrative to pin it all together, it is progressive with ever going near that label that damns many and highlights more. Tracks such as the incredible Mel Gibson, I Just Met A Girl, Mama, I Want To Be With You and Get Me out of This Party all have brilliance stamped across their expansive musical interplay and give the concept an complex and confident authority and makes This is My Confession a great album to sit down and tackle life’s uncertainties.
Ian D. Hall