William the Conqueror “Maverick Thinker”

Chrysalis Records, 2021

Impressive Los Angeles recorded third album from Cornwall based blues-rockers.

William the Conqueror’s third album was recorded at the renowned Sound City in Los Angeles just before the first lockdown last year and that is not the only way in which the album has the feel of a band on an upward curve. Ruarri Joseph, the band’s frontman and singer has long had the knack of writing clever and estimable songs. Four very respectable solo albums before the formation of William the Conqueror in 2016 are testament to that. However, despite widespread critical acclaim, Joseph’s gentle acoustic folk, failed to trouble the cashiers at the nation’s record emporiums too much. The formation of William the Conqueror set Joseph off in a new direction. If the two previous albums perhaps saw him begin a journey, ‘Maverick Thinker’ has the feel of a man arriving at his destination.

The record is not a complete departure from the band’s established folkish bluesy rock sound, but this time it comes with a confident heterogeneousness that sees the band explore a wider range of influences, which in turn make it hard to put a label on them or to pigeonhole their sound. Fuzzy stinging guitars are counterbalanced by easier more laid back acoustic vibes elsewhere. Yet, because we are all familiar with southern sounds being blended together to great effect by a succession of artists, the songs on the album seem to meld together effortlessly to create a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. The band are not simply taking a stroll down the well-worn path of blending complementary sounds together. Whilst their musical influences clearly emanate from the southern states of America, the band, through Joseph’s words and voice, succeed in marrying them to a distinctly British approach, creating an incredibly unique take on a well-hewn musical seam.

In ‘Maverick Thinker’ William the Conqueror have made a very impressive record that has that enduring quality of sounding better with each listen. Given the exposure that it deserves, it could also establish the band as an important and permanent force.

8/10
8/10

About Clint West 184 Articles
From buying my first record aged 10 and attending my first gig at 14, music has been a lifelong obsession. A proud native of Suffolk, I have lived in and around Manchester for the best part of 30 years. My idea of a perfect day would be a new record arriving in the post in the morning, watching Ipswich Town win in the afternoon followed by a gig and a pint with my mates at night,

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