Genre: Alt-rock / Blues
01 Dog Meat Stew
02 Strange Part Of The Country
03 Years Between
04 Round Midnight
05 After The Hole
06 Time Settles
07 Old Irish Drunks
08 Kitty’s Wake
09 A Waterfall Is A Poem Pouring Through A Rock
10 Camden Town And I Should Be Happy
Conil are a London-based alternative rock band that includes Danny Thompson, of Nick Drake fame, on double bass. Prior to releasing this debut album they managed to secure Tchad Blake, known best for his work with Tom Waits, as a producer. The amount of praise this debut received in the more mainstream indie music press had me wondering how this album would work alongside the other material we review here at Heathen Harvest.
When Dog Meat Stew began I was immediately taken back to the early 90’s and the unplugged performances by bands such as Nirvana and Alice In Chains. It’s a strong opening track with emotive vocals and a bitterness tinging the lyrics. The grungey, folk-tinged blues, continues across the rest of the tracks. The bourbon soaked Round Midnight is one of my favourite songs on this whole album with it’s gritty vocal delivery that could almost have been delivered by Nick Cave at points. The gentle melancholy of songs such as After The Hole work as excellent counterpoint to the more raucous boozy tracks. It’s almost meditative instrumentation has the listener drifting on waves of emotion.
Strange Part Of The Country is an incredibly strong debut album. I can definitely see why it has garnered so much praise. This is a collection of songs for either lazy afternoons in sun or 4am in smokey blues bars with a bottle of bourbon. In terms of Heathen Harvest readers this may be a little middle of the road but, for those interested in genres outside the post-industrial genres that we usually cover, you could do worse than this bluesy alt-rock.