Thursday, 6 December 2012

Thomas Wynn & the Believers - Brothers & Sisters

Portmanteau Says It All

This is a superb sophomore album from a superb southern rock/soulful band from Orlando, Florida, fronted by Thomas Wynn with sister Olivia providing dynamite harmony vocals. It’s a strong, tight band too with some great harmonica playing, as on opener Brothers & Sisters. Thomas plays a neat guitar when needed, and his vocals have the clear echo of John Fogerty at times. There is great depth to this album, as acoustic fourth track Heaven Tonight attests with its southern folk mood and wonderful vocal harmonising from Thomas and Olivia. This is followed immediately by another acoustic number, It’s Alright, and the simple acoustic guitar and dual vocals have a fresh, live feel: testament to total confidence in the song and performance [Thomas belting out his emotive lyrics]. Seventh Lifeline Woman is all southern soul, love’s narrative and the drama of delivery staged to heightened effect. Olivia gets her solo spotlight on another acoustic number, Battleground, and brother Thomas provides supporting vocal harmony here: these unadorned live-like recordings providing a dynamic core to the whole. The album does end on an excellent chugging rocker, Black November. Key moments are a witty staccato harmony, a psychedelic harmonica work-out, a fine echoed guitar rip, a solo bass romp, and a sustained but not overdone drum slot – all exemplifying the band’s shit-hot credentials. There really isn’t a better portmanteau for it.

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