FIRE & FLAMES
Blazing return for singer-songwriter A gritty, growling triumph from a singer-songwriter who's “ Thisalbum is so damn countrified I was quickly imagining I was driving through Texas… ” Suzette Lawrence and the Neon AngelsTEAR UPTHE HONKYTONK by Alan Harrison always been on the edge of folk music but who here verges into something more akin to Janis Joplin. Palmer's powerful vocals get a full yet stripped down backing, her acoustic guitar bolstered simply by bass and drums with touches of melodeon, violin and viola.
The record was recorded in a day, live in a small northern studio, Palmer in one room, drummer in another. The result is something that transcends Palmer's background, growing up on the Yorkshire moors and takes her into Americana, without actually trying to sound American.
It's well over a decade since she made her name in the alt-folk scene, even gaining fans in the alternative rock scene – her first album way back then was the first release on the label of Clint Boon, singer with the Inspiral Carpets.
Much of the material here rocks, not least the freewheeling Queen Of Hearts, and even on the emotive slower songs – Angel in particular-the drums are ready to leap in and setthings swinging.
This is a record that sounds like the work of a band ratherthan a singer-songwriter with backing – and that's probably the way that Palmer should head with her wild and emotional vocals. But she rarely stands still and is already moving on, having been writing in the States and preparing another collection. Nick Dalton www.thoroughbredmusic.co.
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“ She rarely stands still and is already moving on…”