Album review: Beans On Toast - Rolling Up The Hill
PUBLISHED: 14:23 16 December 2015
Straight-talking dispatches from the road in a folk album that doesn’t pull any punches, says Stephen Moore.
Something of an underground success story, this is BOT’s seventh studio album in as many years. From his croaky estuary English vocal and easy delivery to his knack for a rhyme and on-point musicianship, he certainly appears to be an old hand.
Husband-and-wife band Truckstop Honeymoon team up with him and others to form a backing band with banjo, harp, horns and drums fleshing out the acoustic folk.
Lyrically the ramshackle, raffish raconteur (“I make a new best friend every 15 minutes” he boasts, pretty convincingly) is as verbose as his labelmate Frank Turner, but the narratives are grittier and rooted in people, politics and physical geography.
Whether chronicling his travels through “this great big piece of dirt” (The Great American Novel), writing hipster-friendly protest songs on honest work and industry (The Industrial Estate, performed in the fingerpicked folk tradition), or reminiscing about his formative years (The Mudhills Crew), he doesn’t mince his words.
Religion of all flavours and questionable morality get an unfliching appraisal in God Is A Cartoonist, too.
It makes for an engaging listen as he drops memorable one-liners (“a dollar costs more than it’s worth”) or goes all meta on A Bit More Track On The Monitor, but it’s the music that holds his garrulous diatribes together.
Rating: 3/5 stars
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