I'm good, me....
Available now on I-TUNES and free track
"Limelight" available at www.super8music.co.uk
God is in the TV - review by Beckie Jordan
Being a fan of legends such as Nick Cave and Lou Reed, anything or anyone that claims to be the 'impossible offspring' of said musical genius's definitely needs further investigation. The Broken Wheels of Fortune from upwardly-mobile singer/songwriter Edward James Bass is proof, if any was needed, that quality songwriting and music making is still in existance.
Full of pounding drums, vivid imagry and tight lyrics, this EP'S gloomy despiration coupled with Bass's bittersweet vocals invokes something nothing short of glorious musical depression. Stand out track 'Fear of Small Towns' is beautifully written and produced, and one that Bass should be truly proud of.
Described as "the new thinking person's misanthrope" it would be unwise to doubt the abilities of this rising star.
Whisperin and Hollerin
Were Jarvis ever to hang up his spectacles, he would find a pretender to his throne in Edward James Bass. The same melancholy pontificating is etched into the very core of this EP, but that isn't to say that this is a bad release. Quite the opposite.
'Man on Fire' is a drawling, leering affair. It's a strong track, with a great pace and pleasantly predominant piano. 'Star Power' is Jarvis doing lounge jazz – and it works. A song about the X-Factor, (“As I break into my choice tune/And the sweat runs down my forehead/They gave me such a dressing down/Man, I have never felt so worthless”) which begs the question, has he auditioned? 'Fear of Small Towns' is a largely spoken word piece about, well, leaving small towns. It's an accomplished song, again very much of the Pulp mould, up and down and building each time the catchy chorus is due to kick in, but this is hardly a style that has been exhausted.
Like Jarvis, Bass tells stories well – a tale that pans out over the verses and choruses in a complete way. The lyrics are unambiguous, and this is for the better – in this case, it's nice not to have to read between the lines. A promising EP... more, please!
Manchester Music - review by Cath Aubergine
A few weeks ago on a Thursday night in Stoke-on-Trent I walked out of a music venue to be faced with the sight of two teenage girls in pastel hoodies twatting seven bells out of each other in the middle of the street, fists and all, whilst the enormous bouncers from several of the street’s anywhere chain-bars stood and watched; it was nothing to do with them. This is a scene I just can’t get out of my mind when listening to “Small Towns”, the standout track on the new EP from Edward James Bass – now Manchester-based, he once told me which nowhere satellite town he grew up in, but I can’t remember now. It doesn’t really matter; that’s the point. “Runcorn, Braintree, Bolton, Whitby, everybody’s talking about the same old stories” – whilst The Enemy proclaim their escapist defiance and Hard-Fi glorify a culture without culture, Bass just observes, sketching in bitterly astute poetry. Even the music has a sort of claustrophobic beauty; echoing The The’s “Heartland” picture of decaying 80s Britain in sound as well as sentiment but with both updated for a somehow even more desolate 21st century.
That the rest of the EP stands tall even alongside this astonishingly potent track is a credit to Bass’s talent. “Star Power”, a highlight of the David Lynch tribute night at which Bass performed earlier this year, is effectively “Mulholland Drive” set to darkly portentous piano strokes; the shattering of A-list dreams as now seen on TV every Saturday night; “Man On Fire” sees the frustrations finally snap. This is the sound of a man holding a mirror up to contemporary life and seeing little there to be happy with; comparisons – often in these pages – with such bitter genius as Luke Haines and even Lou Reed are entirely deserved.
Upon listening to this I realised Edward James Bass was a storyteller in the same veins of Johnny Cash and Lou Reed, telling the contemporary tales of small town life and desolation. 'Fear of Small Towns' is poetry and tale telling of the highest order, reflecting modern britain and creating images of small towns beseiged by chav culture. Towns where 'everybody knows your name'. 'Fear of...' is a commendable opening track, setting the scene for the rest of the EP. 'Man on Fire' has been reviewed earlier in this blog, and sits nicely alongside a dark, brooding 'Star Power' and a gentle, highly poetic 'Twisted Wheel'. There's darkness and brooding undertones in all the tracks, all highlighting the suburban darkness of modern living. There seems to be little to be happy about in EJB's world but as long as his melancholy keeps him producing material like this then long may it continue!
I was all geared up to really hate this – but with pop sensibilities, the de rigure piano, and some great lyrics, Edward James Bass can take his place beside some of his heroes – the great, downbeat singer songwriters of our time. Qv The Auteurs, Tindersticks, Nick Cave. Hallowed company indeed.
Available now on I-TUNES and free track
"Limelight" available at www.sup