Sam Coe & The Long Shadows Full Moon
The debut album from Sam Coe & The Long Shadows has arrived and it has duly delivered on the promise that was displayed at their recent London show at the Hard Rock Cafe. It is a combination of styles that come together to make this such an enjoyable record, definitively British whether it be their take on Nashville style country, .or high tempo rockers. The Long Shadows prove themselves to be every bit as inventive as they were in that live show providing Sam Coe with the perfect backing to try a number of vocal styles all delivered in a distinctly British style.
The album opens with the startling title track, complete with quirky guitar riff that runs through the track and an equally quirky vocal delivery, It is a storming start to the record and unashamedly attention grabbing, if this is the opening track what else lies within?. The riff drives the song along on its own and there is also some power percussion that makes this so entertaining. The song consistently keeps you off guard right to the sudden ending. It's inventive and full of energy and a total blast.
"Whiskey Dreaming" sees a full on return to a UK country band sounding unashamedly country, and it is a joy. The Long Shadows provide a perfect guitar backing, this time with a prominent piano adding to the sound, leaving Sam to deliver the requisite vocals which she does with aplomb. There's even a familiar country topics whiskey drinking and an unfaithful partner "You've been seen around" at "late night bars on the other side of town"
"Rhinestones" opens to a steady drum beat and this is quite clearly UK country, the title may be Nashville but the gusto and snappiness of Sam's delivery is pure British and all the better for it.
Once again the Long Shadows put in a great shift, notably from Wayne Moore on drums and the organ sound which really lifts the track.
"Hey Heartbreaker" is an absolutely storming rocker of a track, a tale of biter being bit as the tables are turned on a womaniser. Sam's delivery is again full of gusto in fact this almost has a new wave feel about it and a snazzy little break at the 2 minute mark where the Long Shadows do their thing before Sam reactivates the song. It has the feel of a song that should go down a storm when played live with Sam Coe's vocals another outstanding feature
Things finally calm a little with the ballad "End In Tears" complete with a pedal steel solo and later a lovely sympathetic guitar solo. It finds a woman at rock bottom faced with the option of making another bad decision "I'm busted and i'm broken", "now ain't the time to want me" followed by the warning "i'd be wasted time for you" Although seemingly depressing the chorus offers a ray of hope "It's been a long hard year I can't let it end in tears"
"Motel Cherokee" starts with an uptempo guitar. This seems both the most American sounding both in instrumentation and lyrics "county lines" and "Gasoline" which oddly makes it sound a little forced compared to some of the other songs.though still effortlessly catchy.
"Tennessee Blue" opens with Sam crooning over of an acoustic guitar and some cymbals, on one of the strongest tracks. The chorus is sumptuous and gets you every time. "Salvation" is another glorious uptempo song, almost like Norfolk meets Southern rock! The Long Shadows once again put in a sterling performance
"Holding On To You" is another high tempo pop song that comes with a number of hooks and is effortlessly likeable from the very first play.
"Rocking Chair Regrets" comes as a live version for reasons unspecified, and is a nice twist on the theme of making the most of each opportunity that presents itself and not living to regret missed chances in later life. Simply recorded with the band providing backing vocals,
"Santa Fe" comes as a much more beefed up version than the one released previously on the "Santa Fe" EP and is much the better for it.The original version in comparison sounds polite and one dimensional in comparison, this version has a punchier opening and is just better recorded in all respects.
"Fire" closes out the album and sees Sam almost in Gillian Welch territory. It starts with a repeated acoustic guitar riff over which Sam has a more subdued breathy vocal. Soundwise the song builds in intensity with the addition mainly in part by Sam's vocals which make this one of the most intriguing tracks of the whole record.
A real great collection of songs of differing styles and certainly worth of your attention.