The Slingsby Hornets “Borrowed and Blue”
Jon Paul Allen aka The Slingsby Hornets brings his own unique take to a selection of covers. Let me say there are two ways to go here, you either emulate the original artist or you do something unique. Allen excels in glam guitar excess and spreads those echoing Brian May type riffs over each song like jam on a scone.
Allen’s versions sound nearly unrecognizable when compared to the originals. But that’s why his off key punk version of The Carpenter’s’ “Yesterday Once More” works, with wailing chords and synths. In fact it’s best that you don’t compare these songs with the originals, it will ruin it for you. My favorites here are the obscure hit from David Essex “Rock On” played almost like a Led Zepplin ballad and Cliff Richard’s “Move It” done in the style of The Power Station! Allen has his own songs round out the album, and the best of these are the ballad “It’s Gonna Rain” and ELO-like “Answer?” Overall, this album has plenty of sting!
Paul Starling “Shipwrecked Commotion”
Way back in 2007 I reviewed Starling’s long out-of-print debut. Well he re-did several of the songs and added some more for Shipwrecked Commotion. “Dress Me In Bowties” is a bouncy twee song that charms thoroughly. I still like “Caroline,” it’s memorable chorus and harmonies remain a standout. And “Where Are You Gonna Sleep Tonight?” is another memorable gem here. Starling does try to break away from his baroque pop influences, with a bit more alt. folk and country mixed in with the pop. It’s got a light touch so fans of the recent Lightships album will be glad to add this to the playlist.