Solana, Camino. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

A feast is what you make it of it, it is not essential to be a 20 foot table groaning under the weight of sugar laden titbits, it is not a requirement for it to be whimpering with bowed legs and deformed curved middle as steaming hot pies, sides of mutton and inedible quiche adorns every square inch not taken up by raised eye brows and Watney’s Party 7 keg. A feast is no less a banquet for having the ability to rein back in the over exposed and indulgent to a point where you feel sated just by having lived in the moment, by taking in the luxury of the simple and honest fare.

However even the honest are allowed to indulge, to break free of the shackles imposed by Time and ears that find the bright lights more alluring than a truth of expression which covers itself in a shroud but it none the less exciting, exotic, suitably strange and out of the ordinary. For on the unexpected delivery stands delight, the Devil ready to tango whilst wearing matching stockings and basque; it is the delight that sees the tango played out with each step taken as if by an angel.

For Solana the dance is exotic, it is colourful and one that lives in exuberance and the banquet fulfilled without ever going off into the realms of wasting the pieces that everybody else avoids. Camino is plain speaking but dusky allusion, the rhythmic and rich without ever feeling ground down by someone else perceived generosity which turns out to be bragging or worse, big headed conceit.

Solana are so far down to Earth that they shine with ease, the songs Saracen, Gnomad, Camino del Agua and Cheap Nougat are intense affairs, the strings of the heart pulled in many directions by an unseen benevolent hand and one that never stops dancing in the wings.

The Bristol based band stride forward in their belief and give the heady influence of Celtic visions and Spanish guitar, so evident in their selection of songs, a sense of drama that would otherwise be missed in other’s interpretation of what constitutes a feast for the ears.

A beautifully paced album, one of spirit and endeavour, there is no clue left unturned in Camino in the search for a moment of modest and humble greatness.

Ian D. Hall