Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Lex Grey And The Urban Pioneers - Heal My Soul, album review

Thank You Lex Grey

This is Raunchy Rock, and the title is presumably ironic: any healing of this singing soul would remove the sinning at its vocal core. Indeed, Marlowe might have written about Lex Grey’s dance and found the selling worth this one album alone.

But Grey doesn’t ask for much: I wanna live in a factory, surrounded by empty machinery. All she wants to do is make an industrial-sized mess and one feels like advising she doesn’t need to make any deals with the gory-red horned-one for these simple aspirations.

That urban request for industrial living comes from opener Factory and its rockblues is dirty and kept that way by the raw and wonderful vocal of Grey. Chicken clucks accompany on next Hobo Soup, and this indicates there is going to be some animal humour over and above its other basic urges. Third Ghost indulges a slightly ghostly chorus, and a violin joins in Grey’s closing raucous rage – it is wild and authentic in its basic rock roots. This is a band one assumes strips away even more pretence from wherever it tries to hang near any live gigs.

Quiet Place slows things down just enough to prove it can be done, but Grey’s crackle is still the emotive centre, even when a rising vocal ensemble builds around this, a marginally dissonant background flute fighting for recognition. Blues All Around follows with a vocal drag that scrapes across the floor churning up pain in its splintered sound. Survive demonstrates how the Urban Pioneers can layer their own qualities across Grey’s voice in a more divergent song, some complex vocal backgrounds joining the fuller musicianship. There is some psychedelia in this one, and I like it loads. Closer Heal My Soul is a powerful, mature blues, some sassy sax bolstering Grey at her glorious vocal best, the gritty thank you baby just brilliant. A damn fine song and performance, that sax closing it out with soulful feeling.

Check out the band’s site and download here.

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