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Reviews

Thomas Truax Thomas Truax
Album: All That Heaven Allows
Label: Psycho Teddy
Tracks: 10
Website: http://www.thomastruax.com

An American steampunk experimentalist polymath with a deep Nick Cave-like vocal and a strong blues streak, now based in the UK after five years in a Germany and a few months in the US, Truax self-released his solo debut, Full Moon Over Wowtown, back in 2002 and this, his ninth nods to that in its raw blues opening track, 'Swimming Back To Wowtown/Granny Says Part 1'. 'Part 2' turns up a few tracks later with the dream dark 'Little Bites' and its lengthy moody guitar and mosaic instrumentation intro, prior to which there's the undulating Velvetish-ish reverb drenched ballad 'Save Me' on which he duets with Gemma Ray, the boneshacking B52s-shaded nervy funk of 'Humane Train' and the fairground delirium that is 'Precarious Waltz' with its unsettled piano and his self-invented mechanical drum machine and burping hornicator.

The second half gets underway with the thumping Talking Heads stomp of 'International Homeland Security', its core pop windswept with electronic whooshes and frazzled dirty guitar, leading into the tribal clanging rumble and distorted overlaid vocals of the beat generation jazz blues of 'Tonight We're Going To Fly'. A brief strings-adorned reprise of 'Save Me' leads to the six minute plus 'Your Ever Changing Face/All That Heaven Allows' that starts with driving thumping drums, backwards loops and nerve-jangling chimes before the pace slackens to segue into the narcotic, musical box gauze of the title track love letter to a woman growing older with grace and beauty. With string arrangement by Pete Harvey, it ends on the complementary soothing cosmic waves of 'The Mobile Starts To Spin', echoes of Ummagumma Pink Floyd floating through the patterns reflected on the ceiling as you slip into Morpheus as "your midnight friends are calling in".

Truax notes that there's a wealth of flying references throughout the album, images of escaping from feeling pinned down or trapped by the modern world and the need to dream to preserve our sanity. Slip on a copy and take wing.

Mike Davies