Idle Hands has scored a real rocky blues success with Feeding The Machine their latest album to hit the airwaves and this is a band that delivers every time. The band brings a distinctive dimension to all the songs they sing and this album is no different. From the off you know it is Idle Hands with vocalist Phil Allen, he is flamboyant on stage and this energy and pzazz is carried through in this studio recording. There is no doubt that without the band behind he would not have the confidence to run from the front, the rhythm section keeps shape and drives the beat through each track and consist of drummer Paul Heydon and on bass guitar and backing vocals Jaimie Burns with Dave Robinson adding those riffs, licks and motifs of guitar thanks to his super Strat.
Feeding Machine stands out from the crowd who are producing rocky blues, why there are variations in timing, tones and textures the guitar and vocals are both strong and given the space they need to develop each and every track to its full glorious heights. Sad Again is an example of slowing it down letting the guitar sing the emotions in this sublime three minutes of instrumental; there is just pure emotion being expressed through the precise and considered guitar work of Dave Robinson full of sentiment with more than a glimpse of Gary Moore’s influence. Then we have a contrast up goes the tempo with Phil’s vocals spitting out the lyrics on Might Be Foolin’ as the rhythm is full of dance beat, funk and movement.
What I really enjoy about Idle Hands on this album is the musical confidence portrayed as they mix up the genres refusing to be stuck in a rut, not dependent on power chords or riffs that go on and on; we have hints of country, twists of psychedelia. The longest track on the album Weatherman, for me this track is a perfect balance between vocals and instruments and hope the length doesn’t stop this being played as the blues is long slow with a rocky edge adding feeling and depths; reminiscent of timeless classics from the past but delivered with a freshness on Feeding The Machine.
It is not all about electric blues rock, they slip in a couple delightful acoustic numbers. Firstly, Your Song Goes On that would please the purest of the blues aficionados despite its country undertones with slide guitar that is class and vocals that goes round in a circle. The other Second Time Around is a whiskey fueled faster tempo acoustic that is Dylanesque in its delivery but this is no copy cat of a track it is pure Idle Hands mixing the musical approach up and we like it!
On all the tracks Idle Hands use their influences to inspire but not dictate over the self-penned twelve tracks you see the real sound of the band, this album is the next best thing to seeing them live.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD