Wailing Recluse remains reclusive…and wailing!

Here at Bluesdoodles we love to hear from new bands and givetheir music (and our views) an airing. However, it would make the job a lot easier if the details we get include the band members and their instruments etc. Here we have a case in point: WailingRecluse have a new, self-titled album out and all of the PR and their website tell us is that they originate from Glasgow and are fronted by RichardTerris and that he “employed session musicians to offer the heavy ballast”.That suggests that we are witnessing someone with all of the ability and none of the label backing…a situation all too common in the current environment. Sowhat do we get from this release? Well, bearing in mind that Richard quotes his influences as Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Johan Sebastian Bach and Les Paul amongst many others, we are safe to assume that the 1970s will feature with classical influences sprinkling blues, rock and pop…indeed, that is what we do get, although hisplaying reflects other rock bands of the time too.

The canvas Richard paints on the opening track, Modes of Persuasion is certainly coloured in blues driven rock in the mode of early Sabbath. His voice also has an Ozzy timbre, without sounding like him…if yousee what I mean. Listening on a streaming service with massive compression means the drums (especially the crash cymbal) are a bit too high in the mix, and the whole thing comes across as efficient heavy rock. Love’s Reprise opens with some tasty snare work before a blues-rock riff cuts in. The start/stop guitar backing the verses and the voice recalls some of Percy Plant’s early solo work which, in many cases was better than anything he did with the band he used to be in. It is here that Richard shows his prowess on guitar as a well thought out solo punctuates the middle and end sections and, with a very distinguished bass line it all comes together very nicely. Fallen Angel has start/stop riffs and staccato vocals echoed by the guitar and are immediately lodged in my mind as a hybrid of Rush and Uriah Heep. The solo is again worth the wait and sounds like an Iommi guest spot. Alone On The Battlefield has another great bass line (whoever he is Richard…employ him!) and a basic riff over the vocals and, after the bridge, the track eventually comes to life with a solo of some ingenuity, albeit too short. Sticks and Guns begins with early Priest riffing and simple drum beat. The vocal is in time with the guitar and it actually builds very nicely to a timing change and then develops a new melody to the abrupt ending. I’ll See Your Face Again is the first of two ballads…acoustic guitar backing a Beatles-like multi-tracked vocal. String effects are placed behind a lap steel sounding guitar. Nice enough and the violin (it does sound real) adds atmosphere even if, ultimately the song travels a complex journey without any passengers. Find Our Way Back Home is the next one, with acoustic and multi-tracked vocals working well over the strummed guitar. There are some strings inserted again and what sounds like a rock cello inserting some dirt into the melody. Again, nice enough but it seems to me that even ballady acoustic tracks should be separated to help improve the flow of the album as a whole. Track number eight is called Number Eight and has sparse chords before a classic blues-rock chord pattern develops the whole thing into another Heepy feeling with added Hendrix inspired solo. Mountain Song starts with a bass solo and then slide chords which fade to leave the drums and bass backing the vocals with only the odd guitar picking punctuating. It does actually have a Leslie Westfeeing to it (the inspiration for the title?) and the slide guitar sounds pretty damn good. This is the best and most cohesive song for me and is a real highlight. The final track is a “live’ version of the opening Modes Of Persuasion and is a very capable version although bringing not a lot to the album as a whole. It does demonstrate the capabilities without studio technology and has a longer and better guitar solo.

So in total, we get a very proficient and broadly enjoyable slice of 70s rock. Richard is obviously talented and, if he does find the backing and/or money to recruit a band and further develop his songwriting we could have a real find here…we will have to wait and see.

SEVENpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Tracklisting:

  1. Modes Of Persuasion
  2. Love’s Reprise
  3. Fallen Angel
  4. Alone On The Battlefield
  5. Sticks And Guns
  6. I’ll See Your Face Again
  7. Find Our Way Back Home
  8. Number Eight
  9. Mountain Song

Musicians:
Richard Terris: guitar, vocals

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