Seven Deadly Sins, The Mighty Bosscats latest album is definitely not a sin to listen to unless pleasure is one and according to the list we are safe to sit back listen and enjoy. There are seven tracks, one for each of the seven deadly sins; gluttony, lust, wrath, pride, sloth, greed and envy and the incorporation of the bible is common in the blues but combined with Dante and giving a modern twist is a huge undertaking. This is an album of meaningful lyrics and melodic phrasing that will not be boxed into a category, it is a sound of its own that uses the tonal quality of the instrumental to reflect the subject, getting seven different musical variations across so much celebration of self.
Richard Townend’s vocals, full of gruff tones and menacing delights make the album work when added to the mix of the talent Bosscats truly talented musicians working with him on this project. Normally I would pick a few tracks but each of the tracks make the whole so have reviewed them all as this is a storybook of an album.
The opening track represents lust – 15 Minute Blues, a melodic jazz rhythm fuelled number that fills the room with a sound that is so sweet you just want to hear some more than over the top the gravelly voice of Richard and you lust for more as the track is not 15 minutes long!
Sweet Wine representing gluttony is a full sound from the hills of Mississippi with a swampy drifting as we become sated by the feast of life and the chaotic outcomes this causes.
Well this track title gave it all away Angry Words, just had to be wrath and this is musical poetry and this is not anger between lovers but children towards parents – an unusual basis for a song. There is no anger in either the lyrics or the music it is actually a rather peaceful, laid-back relaxed track, the ironic take on Wrath!
We have a blues song with searing blues guitar opening the track combined with fabulous drumming with brushes I would take pride</em> in keeping the beat like that in Tired Old Blues; as we explore stubbornness and how it is destructive because we are too proud to take a different road.
Only a single word for sloth it is the song Lazy, with saxophone setting the tempo and the laid back singing style this is sitting easy on the summer’s day on the porch, it Is about the sloth caused by management speak it is how you disincentivise the workers in the modern world accompanied by a crisp modern sound.
The Diamonds is blues with a country feel with searing harp and slide guitars and epitomise greed, with the blood attached to many diamonds through war, this is a protest song that makes you reconsider the need for the diamonds in our lives a thoughtful track amongst an album where the text or lyrics are the key.
Lastly, but definitely not the least of the sins Envy, with a sultry Latin American salsa rhythm beat that shows the massive destruction that envy can cause with the Indiana State Prison Blues, as we want to possess what someone else owns.
The album is seven tracks of blues inspired lyrical poems. It is an album you have to listen to and take notice; but saying that the music is full of tones and textures of all the emotions we experience there is nothing grim about the music as Richard ensures we get an insight into the dangers of the 7 Deadly Sins. This is an album dripping in the blues and modern culture a musical journey is undertaken and the outcome is some thoughtful and pleasing tracks that stay away from being over-indulgent and that would be a sin!
Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
Richard Townend voice & guitar
Glen Buck drums
Phil Wilson bass
Greg Camburn sax
Allan Kelly pedal steel
Will Potten brass
Phil Pawsey keys and harp
Kev Wiltshire keys