|The James Warner Prophecies - 'Things Change' (SoundHub Records)|
|Written by Ian Bell|
|Saturday, 14 April 2012 05:30|
The James Warner Prophecies (or JWP as I'll call them) are a hard edged three piece rock band from the Midlands that only the fool hardy would attempt to pigeon hole. Crossing the landscapes of punk, rock, pop, and if only at a push even prog they posses clever story telling lyrics with sound alike flashes of inspiration ranging from Biffy Clyro, The Wildhearts, The King Blues, Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, right through to the Killers with a splashing also of Elvis Costello, Eels, The Police and even Queen to add further flavouring to the mix. Remember I said flashes and splashing ladies and gentleman, as what is certain is JWP are a standalone bundle of uniqueness with so many layers and interesting turns and time changes that they would send your average talent show contestant running to the hills in fear.
'Define' opens up this musical adventure and its upbeat bounce-a-long vibe is pulled together by the strong catchy chorus, a definite signature of JWP throughout the album and once heard this chorus will eat away at the back of your skull for days after. 'My Left Hand Waves Goodbye' starts with the line "this is a sad song" and is all about a broken heart that further down the road is doing just fine thank you very much, and is another cheerful upbeat Levellers kind of Indie folk rock number that again leaves you feeling as the song says like "a stupid fucking boy with a stupid fucking grin". 'Justified' is a rock out number, again with the magic touch chorus and clever use of lyrics plus a sublime breakdown in the middle section whilst 'James Warners Last Dying Words' is like the tripped out soundtrack to some Greek themed nightmare with tinges of ska/reggae providing the backbone.
'Running Out' leads with a mellow prog feel before developing into air guitar gold that simply rocks out with it's proverbial out, containing guitar riffage straight from the dirtiest back alley complete with a grunge soul dancing with the devil of metal. 'Av A Bite' is a hit single in waiting with a real cheeky ska feel and the vocals taking the lead role ala The King Blues, whilst once again riding on an Indie rock chorus that has the usual JWP catchy stamp. 'Holes' is another cheeky little number driven along on the acoustic bass with searing vocals that build up before coming back down to the stripped down acoustic levels as the song started, and 'Subterranean' is another hit in waiting in the same way as Feeder had their 'Buck Rogers'. This is a feelgood song for the summer that will get things moving along just fine in a live situation, with another chorus that you will succumb to singing along to like an idiot, a song reminding everyone if it was needed that JWP is a band that is going places - and fast, so you best hop aboard now for a good seat.
'Holding On' brings everything down to a chilled out level and is the beer break in the album as the acoustic number. Now I'm not normally a fan of the acoustic ballad kind of number but somehow this just fits perfectly on this album. 'Things Change' marks the end of chill out time as this is a heavy duty rock monster shifting up and down the gears at every turn, before 'Itch' brings matters to a close and is nearly show tune in a twisted and rocky style delivery. But this once again fits perfectly with the usual chorus and rock out to remind us once again that this is a special album indeed, an album that grows on you with each listen, and album that will end JWP's current notoriety as the best kept secret in the Midlands.
So what makes this album so special? Well ''Things Changes' is chock full of cleverly written real life stories that we can all find some common ground with and JWP manage to work these stories into some of the catchiest and most accessible tunes out there, combining styles to suit all tastes and cross all musical boundaries. How can it fail? 'Things Changes' has left me with a need to catch up with the band's back catalogue (order placed as I type), plus a mission to see a band that I need to see live that I haven't seen before. I have come across a band that truly excites me here and they in turn have given to the world an album that doesn't have a single filler on it and oozes quality.
Every home needs 'Things Change' by the James Warner Prophecies; it's that simple, get on board now, 'nuff said.