Ashley Reaks, Track Marks. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

It is possible to get lost once in a while, to lose all sense of direction and notice that not even the stars can navigate you home; when that happens the best thing to do is look down, not in self pity, not in recrimination but in the assurance that the best way home is to follow the Track Marks laid down long before.

The moment in which the listener realises the stimulation one can feel by observe the track marks rather than looking for the obvious signs and notices plastered at eye level, is the point where creativity can stir, where free will to choose the best path for you is the greatest importance. It is free will that lets you sing the song in a different voice should you wish and not be constrained by regulation and directive.

With Nick Dunne, Joel Purnell, Maria Jardardottir and Lucy Mizen all joining Ashley Reaks on the album in instrumental and vocal heaven and Paul Middleton supplying the guide vocal on the number Tank From Grimsby, Track Marks has the weave of the passionate delicately sewn into it, the pathway to finding a set of songs that are honest, full of thought and are motivating, they are enough to ensure complete dedication to finding the pilgrimage lined with supporters.

In tracks such as Love of the Beyond, Exposing Fiona, From Mewling Infancy to Toothless Dotage and Tank From Grimsby, Ashley Reaks takes the manifestation of the everyday that we miss, the sounds of the ordinary and placed and turns them into nuggets of appeal, of the smile that comes with the remarkable and the exciting.

This is all possible because Ashley Reaks has taken the time to scour the archives of sound and place them with the sense of dynamic, the marriage of equals that comes with soundscape and human endeavour and mixed with the words, well why not.

Progressive and innovative, once more Ashley Reaks has plotted the way home by the tracks laid down long before, by seeing the footsteps and the trail produced but happily leading them on in his own special and stirring way.

Ian D. Hall