WILLE AND THE BANDITS
Wille & The Bandits are a country-tinged, blues rock trio from Devon, consisting of Wille Edwards who plays guitar and sings, bassist and backing vocalist Matt Brooks and drummer/percussionist Andy Naumann. Keyboard legend Don Airey guests on a handful of tracks, playing Hammond Organ. ‘Steal’ is the band's fourth release, following on from, in chronological order, ‘New Breed’, ‘Breakfree’ and ‘Grow’. They are developing a reputation as a live band, playing over 200 gigs a year, and have shared festival stages with the likes Joe Bonamassa, Deep Purple and Wilko Johnson.
‘Steal’ kicks off with 'Miles Away', an up tempo and bluesy number with a Southern rock style intro before 'Hot Rocks' takes its turn. This is a track with an atmospheric intro, a distinctive riff and, in parts, is slightly reminiscent of 'Bullet The Blue Sky' from U2's ‘The Joshua Tree’.
Next up is 'Scared of the Sun' which features another atmospheric intro, with the song itself being slower paced than its predecessors. As the title suggests, its lyrics are about the environment and what changes to it mean for mankind's future. Parts of the track reminded me of 'Outside' by Stiltskin.
The driving and insistent rhythms of 'Atoned' follow, an up tempo and catchy effort with another socially aware lyric and this is succeeded by 'Crossfire Memories', a highlight of the album. It is a down tempo song, with mournful cello lines and an anti-war message. Hints of the influence of Dire Straits' 'Brothers In Arms' are detectable and the track has deservedly been getting airplay on Radio 2.
'1970' follows, another up tempo track with a lyrical yearning for an era of 'love and peace'. The closing trio of tracks are 'Our World', with an acoustic intro and another lyric about the environment, 'Living Free', which has a nice groove to it and 'Bad News', the longest track on this release at over 6 minutes. This a slow burning track, with a good instrumental mid-section and Don Airey's Hammond making its presence felt.
Overall, this is a solid release with some well-constructed and well-performed songs and heartfelt lyrics. I feel that the tracks on this release would translate well to being played live and, if you fancy catching one of their gigs, they are touring extensively over the next few months.
Jig-Saw Music Ltd
Review by Dave Uphill
20th January 2017
1) Miles Away
2) Hot Rocks
3) Scared of the Sun
5) Crossfire Memories
7) Our World
8) Living Free
9) Bad News
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...a solid release with some well-constructed and well-performed songs and heartfelt lyrics."