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Laurence Jones, apparently, has a background in blues and, according to the blurb, has been referred to as “the future of the blues” (often, it states). It doesn't specify by whom, but if the future of the genre is paradoxically characterised by regression rather than progression then he fits this criterion perfectly, as when blues rears its stylistic head on this eponymously titled Laurence Jones Band album, it’s thoroughly retro. It's a million miles away from Wilson T King's self-proclaimed "future blues". However, that blues tag is something of a misleading one, as it’s evidently not just the blues that Jones practices. There are all kinds of other stylistic nods to 60s/70s rock of yore, such as dynamics drawn from the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Winwood, The Faces, and so on. And with pop sensibilities to many of the tracks. Not any kind of modern pop sheen (although the production and mix both shine and sparkle with a great deal of clarity); rather, commercial underpinnings that would’ve engendered hits in bygone decades.

I hasten to add that “commercial underpinnings” is not a criticism, as this is a hugely enjoyable album that’s all the better for its commercial sways; a bias that I would posit as being 70s’ inspired more than any other decade. Emphatically so. Jones’ voice even has a 70s vibe about it, as do the rather fantastic vocal harmonies and arrangements. And some of his licks and solos have a late-60s/early-70s feel to them. The guitar solo in ‘Mistreated’, for example, sounds very much like a Floydian/Gilmour pastiche. And his rather fantastic wah-infused outro solo on ‘I’m Waiting’ has discernible flavours of Hendrix.

The songs are generally clichéd as hell. Familiarity is rife throughout, with most passages of music sounding ever so reminiscent of something else. And while I can't always quite identify any direct comparisons, I find myself with a strong feeling of déjà vu throughout the entire album. I can only conclude that the songs are pastiched from other artists, rather than directly lifted from any of their compositions. With the exception of a rather interesting cover of 'Daytripper' - an amalgam of The Beatles classic with infusions of Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'Cross Fire'. It's hardly a clever mash up a la Beatallica's rather genius melding of Beatles/Metallica tracks, but it works very well indeed. And respect to anyone who creatively covers rather than carbon copies.

All in all, while this album might be overloaded with overt stylistic mimicry, there's an undeniably great energy and vibrancy to the Laurence Jones Band and their music. Incredibly well produced and with some great musicianship, this is a mightily enjoyable work.
Top Stop Music
Review by Mark Holmes
27th Sept 2019
1) Everything's Gonna Be Alright
2) Wipe Those Tears Dry
3) I'm Waiting
4) Stay; 5) Mistreated
6) Quite Like You
7) Long Long Lonely Road
8) Beautiful Place
9) Low Down
10) Day Tripper
11) Heart is On Fire
12) The Love
"...while this album might be overloaded with overt stylistic mimicry, there's an undeniably great energy and vibrancy to the Laurence Jones Band and their music."