Review: Jack Foley
THE buzz surrounding Dan Glendinning's latest project, Black
Car, has been building ever since the release of his Asleep
at the Wheel EP.
Having gone quiet since the break-up of his previous band, Headswim,
Glendinning opted to lay low, penning the tracks that made up
the aforementioned EP at his East End home, purely for personal
Thank God, then, that someone persuaded him to release them to
the public. The quality contained within those three tracks is
apparent throughout the album, which marks an accomplished and
exciting debut from another cracking UK singer/songwriter.
Enlisting the support of his brother, on drums, Glendinning put
together the album, Black Car, in his own time, and away from
the pressures of working for a big studio (he is signed to the
independent label, Altered States).
Hence, Glendinning was able to take the time he needed to explore
the themes he wanted to; those of love, loss, hope and despair
- and the mixture of emotions is fully realised in the songs which
The album begins with the former single, Asleep at the Wheel,
which opens with a simple, but oh-so effective guitar riff, before
building towards its rock out finale.
From there on, the album takes a deeply personal journey through
all that Glendinning holds dear, as well as tipping its hat to
several musical inspirations - with Radiohead and Travis to the
Tracks such as She Makes Me Smile, in which he pleads
with a lover to 'stay with me tonight' are beguiling in their
sweet simplicity, as is Promises, which takes a little
while to get going, but eventually turns into a haunting, somewhat
melancholy, record about keeping promises, in which Glendinning's
gentle vocals possess a yearning, heartfelt quality which makes
the song all the more memorable.
Yet anyone thinking that this is all about slow-builders, or
tortuous, self-searching lyrics, would be wrong; for Glendinning
mixes things up with some rockier, feelgood numbers that keep
the album from being pigeonholed in one category.
The final track, Roadtrip, for example, effortlessly evokes
memories of a sun-drenched coastal highway, with its dreamy lyrics,
and gentle piano keys; while the catchy 100% Proof finds
Glendinning in far more excitable mode, announcing that he 'doesn't
give a fuck if it rains' and obviously in love.
Likewise, the feelgood Count Them On One Hand, which begins
slowly, before giving way into a truly great pop-rock combination
that could quite easily become another single, or Shadows,
with its Travis-inspired guitars.
The beauty of Black Car lies in the way that Glendinning expertly
blends some beautiful melodies with some truly fragile lyrics,
making the album one which continues to give more with each listen.
1. Asleep At The Wheel
2. Come on Home
3. 100% proof
4. Youll Be The End
5. Count Them On One Hand
6. St John
8. She Makes Me Smile
10. Road Trip