Saturday, 14 September 2013

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – There Is A Bomb In Gilead

From the heart of Dixie, mixing southern rock, garage, country, soul and gospel in some righteous ragged songs.

There are certain record labels you can trust, such as Alive Natural Sounds. They've been releasing consistently good music for the best part of twenty years, usually by bands that make gritty yet accessible rock that has one foot in the past, yet also manages to point a way forward. They also have a good take on how to release them. As well as CD and digital formats they also do limited bespoke runs of coloured vinyl for most of their releases.

The latest band to get their break courtesy of Alive Natural Sound is Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires with their debut album There Is A Bomb In Gilead. (The title comes from Bains mishearing a hymn as a child, mistaking the word balm for bomb). Though there's nothing particularly new or ground breaking about this album, the mix of southern rock, garage, country, soul and gospel makes for an infectious brew. Sung and played with infectious fervour. It's not a million miles away from the music made by their old touring buddies Alabama Shakes.

The band's music is firmly rooted in the deep south, Bains having formed the band in Birmingham, Alabama, returning there after a spell at college in New York. After a few listens to the album, Bains' knack for storytelling and scene setting begins to shine through. Unlike a lot of more famous song writers he has something to say and he says it well, with a skilful turn of phrase. You get the impression he's one of life's good guys, like a more punky Bruce Springsteen. Take a listen to Righteous Ragged Songs and you'll see what I mean. “Say a prayer for punk rock and a prayer for me” sings Bains. With pleasure sir, 'tis done.

Click here for Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires' website.