Friday, 17 October 2008

CD Review: the Clay Faces - and the word was...

Steve Dean

The first thing that struck me on listening to this album was the full-blooded conviction of the vocals plus the sparkling energy and raw enthusiasm of the musicians backing them. Accomplished players of various instruments, including mandolins and banjitars alongside the more usual guitars and harmonicas, the four members of folk band the Clay Faces offer a fine selection of tunes here, ably displaying a fine flair for song writing, to boot. The down-to-earth and at times poignant songs tell of love and life in a world I should imagine to be familiar to most listeners, the lyrics capturing microcosms of existence in all aspects of the pleasures and agonies within it. There are some excellent melodies to be found here too. With twelve compositions on offer, this is an impressive well-produced album that offers a very entertaining forty-five minutes of anybody’s time.

The musical influences are drawn from a vast array of sources within the world of folk music and beyond, although bands of the calibre of the Dubliners come readiest to mind. Although there appears to be not a single dud song on the album, my particular favourites are ‘Football on the TV’ and ‘And the word was love’. Atmospheric, passionate and lively, ‘and the word was…’ is worthy of a place in any folk enthusiasts collection.


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