Rise & Shine With SIMO
Taking Us In A New Direction
Rise & Shine With SIMO Taking Us In A New Direction, from the first click of the fingers, a boom of the drum and sonic guitar you are taken to a different place that their previous releases have never been or brave enough to take us. The previous critically acclaimed album Let Love Show the Way was retro, accessible and familiar. Get ready to be amazed, aurally challenged and delighted on the album that is in two words summed up as Superb Experimental.
This is an album that is personal, spiritual and encompasses lyrics that at times hurt when you take in the message. But we can relate to them we have all travelled to that stony place JD Simo is describing in many of the songs.
Return is a track that absorbs, starkly crafted around a vocal that is strong in its frailty. This is about sinking into yourself without being aware of the effect on other people and reality becomes a stranger. Lyrics fuelled for a blues inspired song. Not this time a contemporary twisted shape with space to consider the sonics and words. Full of funk with a rawness that burns. There are echoes of other musicians Prince, Beck and others; this is SIMO reaching out and creating a new musical pathway of their own. A powerful number that leaves you wondering where has this new style come from? The guitar moans and groans as JD is almost crooning to himself as we just want to enjoy this new sound; learn it understand it and embrace it. So let’s Rise up and listen to a highly original album as JD says ‘Let It Shine’.
They laid down an intriguing gauntlet with the opening track. How to follow that. We are taken to a trance-like state as we join SIMO in the Meditation zone. This is not a silent space, the mysticism is ever present in tone, the awareness of self is absorbed into the driving beat. The beat that ignites your inner happiness and connects to your feet that want to get up and dance. The album is slippery to grab hold of. It is mercurial, enticing and slightly dangerous, the sonic shape reinvents itself for every track. The tracks are linked together by personal experience, hurt, haunting and anger. They are linked by the authority of JD’s vocals and his guitar just screams and twists around the strings for attention, the deep bass lines of Elad Shapiro, and crisp impassioned drumming of Adam Abrashoff on the beat shaping the depths of the sonic landscape created on Rise and Shine
We are taken into a slightly wild place with shine, fast curling beats auditory delights are created by a trio that embrace change and experiment without ever losing the strength of melody. JD’s vocals provide a clarion call on Shine. Space and time continuum changes with I Want love. The sonics fade and the vocals and guitar take the lead role for your attention as JD plaintively sings I Want Love. A soul ballad that grows and grows with every note that is sung as we are taken on a soulful, smoky emotional journey. I Want Love.
All change as The Climb starts with a rock infused predominately instrumental full of shifting multi-hued coloured sands of psychedelia. Vocals are sparse spoken as they quote from JF Kennedy “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit the same planet” becoming another instrument added to the wild experimental mix. Music of darkness and light as we Rise and Shine in the company of SIMO on their aural journey.
The mood changes with the bluesiest number, Light The Candle. The Sonics are measured and would be recognised as a blues driven sound by Howlin’ Wolf. This is blues for today different full of structure, sharp edges a harshness of modernity delivered by the instruments over the lyrics of JD. The Whoo Hoo of his vocals are straight out of the lexicon of blues sounds, whilst defying like the rest of the album to be captured within one industrial genre.
The album is masterful every track has a sense of purpose and direction. Listen to the whole album the numbers will cascade you into an aural wonderland. A theme park full of sonic adventures. Closing out the album with I Pray. Just over thirteen minutes where you are captivated in the land of SIMO. Starting off with measured, simple sounds and JD intones a prayer. A prayer that is a manifesto of a better more tolerant understanding world where we embrace difference. The track is progressive, full of rock and so much more. Thought provoking. Identifying the oppressed, addicted and those living under tyranny. It covers every issue the world is struggling with from climate change to social ills. The words have a message it is formidable. The music is structured each note and space is there for a reason. What a brilliant close for a brilliant album you want the licks, riffs and rounds of music to go on and on taking to a better place to Rise and Shine.
The sound comes from a trio of musicians that do not want to be contained in retro, repeating what others have done before. They want to produce their best music. Full of interpretations of the sounds the instruments take them as they explore the lyrics. The album had a long gestation as they toured relentlessly throughout 2017 to a point beyond exhaustion they found creativity. The mutual understanding between the trio of musicians has made Rise and Shine a musical experimentation full of chemistry, harmonies bound in the heart of any song lyrics with something to say. Rise and Shine with SIMO and great a new day with the exciting new direction you will want to travel. Rise and Shine a real contender for my album of 2017. The album can be reviewed in one word EXCEPTIONAL!
Rise & Shine – SIMO – Provogue/Mascot Label Group
Out 15th September 2017
TENdoodle paws out of TEN ….
- People Say
- Don’t Waste Time
- I Want Love
- The Climb
- Light The Candle
- Be With You
- The Light
- I Pray