Review Archive

The Chair and ‘The Road To Hammer Junkie’

(March 04, 2013)

I know this great joke about a chair…but I couldn’t possibly tell it here so instead I’ll tell this great story about a band full of spirit, presumably supplied by the Orkney Brewery who, like the finest malt The Chair - Road To Hammer Junkiehits you with a knock-out blow - that's The Chair and ‘The Road To Hammer Junkie’. If the saying about safety in numbers is anything to go by then this seven-piece band of miscreants have nothing to worry about as they motor along at a cracking pace after the deceptively meandering ‘Road To Hammer Junkie’ before the segue into ‘Mr And Mrs Ron Corkett’ and finally ‘Ron’s Reel’ and then it’s party-party all the way.

Bursting with energy the band don’t squander a musical note coming across like a newly discovered hillbilly family where the participants have had more than their fair share of ‘moonshine’ and ‘hollerin’. Brian Cromarty with guest Aimee Leonard positively sparkle vocally on the track ‘The Hamars O’ Syradale’. Normally I’d be the first to say that an album featuring too much enthusiasm is trying too hard to be ‘commercial’…and yes, I’m thinking Mumford & Sons here, but I think in this case it’s more the band saying “we passionately enjoy our music and hopefully you will as well.”

With a cache of instruments that could keep Hobgoblin Music supplied for a summer season of festivals the band use each and every one to their best advantage including guitars, banjo, fiddle, accordion and most importantly display musicianship above and beyond. Unfortunately, although Birnam CD have done a great job (as always) in producing the packaging the band have let themselves down massively by allowing inconsistencies in the track listing details on the back cover (which has the correct details) and the inside cover which does not. Now this may be of no consequence to the general public but to DJs (and reviewers) everywhere causes a real problem when such information is all important where copyright titles are essential. I hope the band don’t feel I’m having a go but this happens too frequently particularly on the ‘folk’ scene and in my opinion needs to be addressed as soon as possible. That said I’d still give the recording top billing. It’s out on Own Label FGCD023

 Reviewer: Pete Fyfe

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