The Climate Stripes

2022

Joe Bonamassa ROYAL TEA.jpg

This is a superb first release from the Manchester trio, who, after checking out their website, are clearly no spring chickens, but still manage to sound as spritely as the friskiest of young gun outfits. It’s a terrible name but the music is terrific. Mark James Ross is the main driving force here, taking the vocal, guitar and keyboard duties as well as writing the songs and producing (he probably makes a nice cup of tea too).

The songs are bursting with melodies, which flow over the top of mostly soft, rhythmic, reggae tinged guitar grooves; the keyboard parts are melodically inventive and provide a counterpoint to the strong vocals and really nicely flowing and lyrical guitar lines.

I can’t think of another new album that has grabbed my interest so immediately for a long while. These are superbly crafted songs. The playing is excellent throughout. The guitar soloing at times has a bit of a Dave Gilmour feel, particularly on ‘Why Did You Leave Me’ and ‘The Road’, the latter being another example of the atmospheric groove that sets this band apart.

It’s hard to single individual songs out as the standard is consistently excellent throughout, but opener ‘Invisible’ and ‘Flesh And Blood’ will tell you all you need to know. There’s even a whistled solo on ‘Light As A Feather (Jenny’s Song)’. What more can you ask for? Music for adults!

Simon Green