Nick Carver & The Mean Street Butchers “Animals”

Independent, 2022

Moody, foot stomping country blues sophomore from Down Under.

There’s something truly innate when great musicians get together and play a particular kind of country blues rock. Earthy guitars, soulful vocals, a moody feel – all join together to make music that one can’t help but warm to.

Australian Nick Carver and his fellow band mates Alex Burkoy, Jake Amy and Chris Doig work brilliantly together to create a genuinely soulful, moody and even moving listen. Carver brings to this album a really intense and emotional sound and he says this album is, lyrically, all about “the raising of my son, leaving my old city life, the beautiful ugliness of abandoned swamps, loss, love for music, love for my loved ones and a call to men to be decent fucking blokes”.

Foot stomping opener and lead single ‘Two-Legged Dog’ is a slide guitar drenched rocker about the warmth of returning home. Pulsating drums dominate next track ‘Let Me Go’ with some fine washboard percussion and as it continues the band coagulate into an explosion of instrumental prowess.

‘The Way You Walk’ slows things down a bit with a lovely slice of blues folk with a lesson for men who ignore the consequences of their actions. Some more lovely slide guitar introduces ‘My Baby’s Eyes’ about Carver’s young son Teddy and it’s lovely. There’s slow burning blues on ‘Pony’ and closing the album is a six minute epic, title track ‘Animals’ building slowly with wonderful guitar work into a glorious release of organ finery.

This is a fascinating album full of stirring and epic songs with a highly personal feel to it, and if you like your americana with a strong blues and soul feel, this is the one for you. It’ll be fascinating to see how things might develop for the next release.

7/10
7/10

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