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- The Broken Leg Sessions by Johnny Powell
8/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 18 November 2010
Johnny Powell you may recognise as a member of folky funsters The Dharma Bums. Here the Hebden Bridge resident presents four melancholic compositions on a wee small CD via the Rural Colours label. Powell's brittle voice takes centre stage on these tracks, his eerie holler is backed by minimalist guitar musing and the occasional electronic interlude or found sound outburst. You can hear all sorts of odd sounds in the background of these tracks, curtains being drawn, pillows being kicked and wallets being flicked. These all contribute to the atmosphere of the tracks and gives the whole EP a real organic, lively feel considering the melancholic nature of the selection. The guitars on 'The Contributor' are a stand out moment with unexpected layering and break out melodies taking me by surprise but the morbid electronic experimentation of 'That That Was, Is' is also a pretty interesting listen. I wonder if he actually broke his leg?
10/10 24/7 Magazine Customer review,
'You may remember Johnny Powell from his time fronting neo-folkies, The Dharma Bums. His new solo project picks up where that band left off and runs headlong into a netherworld of found sounds and harrowing melodies. With a much more developed and settled voice, 'The Broken Leg Sessions' is a beautiful testament to the power of melancholy and madness, where songs like 'The Contributor' are so poignant it hurts. And scattered amongst the soulful emissions are strange and wonderful sounds – including pillow kicks, curtains being drawn, wallets flicking and, best of all, Sylvia Plath's graveyard (!) – all of which evoke an atmosphere that is, at once, organic and eerie.'
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