Paul Sammon gives his thoughts on the opening EP release from UK band THE WHISKEY THRILLS
Needless to say, like most folks that may read this article, for me Nashville is where it’s at. Simple as.
That said, since Country 2 Country began and arguably a bit before, if you were from the UK and admitted you liked country music you were treated with derision or just became the butt of the office jokes.
Our colleagues’ idea of “country music” was Islands In The Stream or Johnny Cash and that was about it.
No doubt though, in the last few years, if you were country before country was cool, you’re now in the “In” crowd and your friends can’t wait to tell you they saw, “That Aussie guy you like that’s married to Nicole Kidman on TV” or “I heard Cassie Overwood in the supermarket the other day.” C’mon, at least they’re trying.
Now, however, we have a great choice of homegrown talent and I’d like to introduce you to The Whiskey Thrills and their EP The Love of It. Maybe there’s no coincidence they herald from the same great city that bought us a revolutionary band you may have heard of called The Beatles.
Overall, the sound swings between country and rock and realistically more the latter. However, the Zac Brown vibe you’ll get from the opening fiddle on Begged might make you wonder, “Who’s this?” The song reflects the singer’s thoughts after a breakup and wanting her back. He’s grown and he’s stronger now, but he knows “Begging ain’t the way”. A solid opener and it introduces you to the strong vocals of Jamie Smith.
Wishin’ slides into a great opening guitar riff. A song about wanting (Wishin’) they could just get out of here while our singer tells his lady it’s ok, she’s “The Queen of Hearts.” There’s a great little guitar solo in the middle, great powerful vocals (Albeit maybe produced a little on the quiet side?) and all in all, a track that reminds me of the sound we get from the Eli Young Band. That’s a good thing by the way.
As we progress into the EP we can hear the blues and rock influences in Life of the Party. That night out where the protagonist sees the girl of his dreams only to realise…. maybe not. Killer guitar solo on this one too.
Apparently inspired by a three-legged, 16 year-old cat, Velvet is about “being knocked down in life and coming back from it like nothing happened”. I hear Zac Brown’s Jekyll & Hyde influences on this track, even the lyrics of “Heavy is the crown” but, personally, this is my kinda music. I like it very much.
The final track of this fine piece of work brings the tempo and tone back down again with Working Man. It’s about the man who literally doesn’t stop so he can provide for his family and improve his lifestyle. Quite a gritty track actually and it reminds me of my Dad. He grafted in a local cement factory for many years and is the epitome of a working man.
Imagine Zac Brown, the Eli Young Band and Foo Fighters threw their music into a pot swished it around and added a pinch of the U.K. That’s what I feel when I hear these guys play. Whether they stay country or veer more towards rock, I’m certain they’ll have many fans following them in the future.
Full marks guys, keep on rockin’
The Whiskey Thrills – The Love Of It – Track Listing
1. Begged (The Whiskey Thrills)
2. Wishin’ (Daniel Doyle, James Smith, Tom Canning)
3. Life Of The Party (Daniel Doyle, James Smith, Tom Canning)
4. Velvet (Daniel Doyle, James Smith, Tom Canning)
5. The Working Man (Daniel Doyle, James Smith, Tom Canning)