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- Love In Arms by Gabriel Bruce
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9/10 Vern Customer review, 12th September 2013
Being an early favourite of NME can often lead to mediocrity. So is the case with many piss poor bands (London Grammar, Peace exc), this time however NME might have actually found someone with some punch about them, oh and talent.
Gabriel Bruce has an 80's vibe without being overtly Ultravox, making that synth vibe his own. There is an occasional Bowie tinge in his gravely, mysterious voice, especially on single 'Greedy Little Heart' a pulsating, upbeat number with bubbling synths and Bruce's excellently energetic and pleading vocals all made amazing by a genius organ piece.
It is the organ which makes this album interesting in many songs. 'Sleep Paralysis' and 'El Musgo' are organ tracks and have a downtrodden tone as Bruce's deep vocals are similar to Gil Scott-Heron's whiskey and fags soaked vocal chords, giving an amazing sense of feeling and passion. Contrast these with songs like 'Cars Not Leaving' where those gravely vocals are thrown on to punchy drums and uplifting synths. It works just as well and sounds like something new, exciting.
The saxophone on 'Perfect Weather' is inspired and this odd track is yet another punchy highlight. The album is peppered with differing emotion which is expertly delivered by Bruce, never making the album feel like a collection of songs rather than a polished album. It is a shame that this truly wonderful album hasn't seemed to have propelled Bruce to his rightful recognition. In a video interview with NME, Bruce says how he is still working in a toy shop and questions whether he needs a better single so he can pay his rent with his musical passion rather than by selling toys. It makes for sad viewing as he clearly knows he has made a belter of an album and that he shouldn't have to feel like he needs to better himself.
Give this one a listen, exchange a little cash, it's worth it.
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