Amber Cross “Savage on the Downhill” (Independent, 2019)

Certain albums, need to be heard at a particular time of day. You wouldn’t listen to ‘Never mind the Bollocks’ at breakfast, nor ‘No Sleep Till Hammersmith’ with tea and toast. Likewise, this album needs to be heard, and sounds best, late in the evening reflecting on the day, with a glass of something to contemplate. It is a relaxed sound. The vocals are strong and have a style of their own. Not First Aid Kit’s harmonies and not Iris Dement but a blend of the two (or three).

UK listeners may not be up to speed with the hunting terminology of the title track ‘Savage On The Downhill’ as it may not translate for them but that shouldn’t make a difference, as plenty of other albums have US cultural references, and we get the hang of it eventually. Seven of the ten tracks have a similar tempo and at times a bit more variety would be nice. The stand out tracks are ‘Trinity Gold Mine’, ‘Tracey Joe’ and ‘Lone Freighters Wail.’  The latter is particularly good with great vocals and harmonies. They have a great story to tell.

An enjoyable album, although there is nagging feeling you’ve heard a lot similar over the years, in style more than substance. At times it needed to get going, to get out of third gear. Without damning with faint praise, you’ve heard a lot worse.

Well worth a listen - Amber Cross has something to say
7/10

Author: Tris Robinson

I am a child of the 60's, the early 60's I agree, and born, but never lived there, in Sussex. Named after an exploding volcanic island (feel free to check Wikipedia) I always thought it could've been worse, thankfully Etna nor Krakatoa East of Java were not exploding in 1961. My teenage years were in Northumberland, but my working life since then has been in the Midlands, and I still live here now. Married to Sue, 2 children and a labrador. How very sitcom of me. Hobbies are music (you don't say) and travel / real ale / football / sometimes all at once.

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