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Drew - Songs From The Devil's Chimney


Review: Jack Foley

SONGWRITING supremo, Drew Kennett, is something of an unknown quantity, in musical terms.

Hailing from The Isle of Wight, and boasting an album that's 'all about loving '60s music, but sounding modern', this hugely talented artist is in danger of being criminally overlooked.

A lack of exposure on mainstream radio stations hasn't helped, but if you look deep enough, the rave reviews are in abundance - and it's easy to see why.

Songs From The Devil's Chimney, while sounding as though it could easily contain the type of sound that Metallica might be proud of, is actually a musical gem that's just waiting to be discovered.

Boasting influences ranging from Bob Dylan and Neil Young through to Crowded House and early B-side style Oasis, Drew's debut is an accomplished and hugely enjoyable effort, that impresses from the first moment you hear it.

Tracks such as the album opener, Dig Deeper, or Ok To Cry, are indicative of what to expect - simple in composition, but oh so effective.

Dig Deeper, for instance, boasts some terrific acoustic guitar, a very simple piano line and some neat trumpet moments, which serve to highlight the strength of Drew's retro-styled vocals.

His tone is as deep as Dylan, at times, and as harmonious as Neil Finn, at others, while also recapturing that Lennon/McCartney sound, which, in turn, draws comparisons with the Gallaghers.

The songs, too, are strongly written, talking of lost love and personal discovery, without every sounding too dreary or depressing.

There's nothing showy here, just an emerging artist at the peak of his form, who is confident enought to let his talents shine - hence, the deliberate lack of slick production values; the album sounds raw, and all the more authentic for it.

Other highlights include Nothing Left To Lose (with its psychedelia-laced verses and beguiling pianos), the country-tinged Changing Face, with its catchy hooks, and the yearnful Don't Be Denied, which evokes memories of Richard Ashcroft's tortured vocals at their most Verve-like.

But then picking out highlights is almost futile, given the quality of just about every track on the album.

This does, as other notices suggest, mark the arrival of a major new songwriting talent, so don't let it pass you by. This sounds like the start of something big.

Track listing:
1. Dig Deeper
2. Nothing Left To Lose
3. Changing Face
4. You Don't Know Me
5. Say You Love Her
6. Without Your Love
7. Don't Be Denied
8. Ok To Cry
9. Under The Weather
10. Leave The Fear
11. Goodbye For Now

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