Bellowhead - Hedonism

The third album from the neo-folk outfit continues their artful scoring of traditional arrangements within a defiantly modern setting. Their considerable live following is testament to not just their onstage reputation but is in part due to their continuing disrespect for the rule book. It seems hardly possible that the ever expanding Bellowhead, formed by John Spiers and Jon Boden in 2004, are still so young. The increased presence of non-traditional elements this time around confirms them as the folk scene’s most ferocious rabble-rousers with John Leckie adding production kudos. When the horns swell and the massed harmonies take flight, you could make a case for them being the Arcade Fire of the scene, such is the euphoria they whip up. A couple of instrumentals, a stark cover of Brel’s ‘Amsterdam’, the rest are traditionals and it’s largely irresistible. ‘Cross-eyed And Chinless’ brings in wah-wah and brass from 70s funk and elements of jazz and epic filmic symphonics add appeal outside of the genre. If the likes of The Unthanks and Seth Lakeman are making you think the beardies (sorry, ladies) are quietly brewing up a bit of a storm, here’s further evidence.

Overall

7

out of 10

Last updated: 06/05/2018 02:46:25

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