In about a month’s time, London-based classic rock outfit Thirsty will drop their newest album ‘Albatross’. If you have an appreciation for authentic rock n roll; psychedelic sounds with a whiff of recklessness or are an audiophile with a craving for unfiltered self-expression, you need to mark that release date, November 7, on your calendar. Albatross is songwriting like you didn’t think it was done any more; music taken back to its joyful simplicity, though intricately structured and expertly executed. Rightly described as “gritty, off-the-cuff and beautifully authentic”, this 11-song collection is sure to put Thirsty on the lips of music lovers and pundits for a while.
Thirsty came into being two years ago when ex-leader of British hard rock group The Quireboys Guy Bailey hooked up with Russian poet Irina D. for a spot of songwriting. A couple of months later the newly-formed band had a self-titled debut out, a project that garnered praise both in the UK and US. Critics were in love with the folksy, homegrown rhythms cobbled around Bailey’s sleepy tenor. Two years later the duo have put together a sophomore project in the same mold. This time, though, the duo has recruited some of the best rock musicians in the country, including drummer Simon Hansen of legendary outfit Squeeze and Quireboys alum Chris Johnstone on keyboards. Adding some soulful charm to the vocal department is Lynne Jackaman, lead vocalist for rock/soul outfit Saint Jude. Ensuring the everything on the record sounds as it should is veteran Rolling Stones producer Chris Kimsey.
You’ll only need to go half a minute into the album’s title track ‘The Albatross’ to agree that Thirsty have found a winning formula. Robust drums skirted by crisp snares and hi-hats and wavy guitar chords become a jagged platform to support Bailey’s grunted lyrics. The singer sounds almost disinterested while he chants, “It’s alright, he loves us all.” ‘Chaos’ has a country air about it and feels warm and sunny, but still retains a hard rock edge. If Chaos has a roots feel, ‘Orlando’, which follows it has a distinctive blues vibe, what with the whining harmonica and Jackaman’s gospel-sounding backing vocals.
By the time you get to ‘Patriotic Little Trash’, you will be in awe of the raw artistry, musical diversity and the impeccable musicianship you’ve had the pleasure of ingesting. You will also wonder where Thirsty have been all this time you’ve been thirsting for that rich, carefree rock music. Well, better late than never. Remember that date, November 7.
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