No 5 – Solomon King & The Chosen (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There is a place where blues is swallowed up by an apocalyptic howl, where country music beats out a rhythm that seems to echo the primal heartbeat pulse of ancient America and where rock music is subsumed to burn in the fires of hell. It is a place that the likes of Johhny Cash passed through, which Nick Cave knew well and which held a bar tab open for Tom Waits.

Solomon King also seems to be a frequent visitor to this strange sonic plane of existence and No 5, the latest album from him and his chosen few is another take on providing a soundtrack for this damned place.

Drinkin’ This Whiskey is a slow waltz into oblivion, all voice and tribal beats, Devil’s Candy is a gently grooving blues grind and City of Angeles is a spoken word hymn to her, set against that urban sprawl and with the spirit of Lou Reed looking down upon it.

There are some nice upbeat numbers to balance things out, Motor City is Detroit soul meets punk via foot-on-the-monitor, low-slung guitars and Sunset and Mars is a slinky, sleazy on-off slice of blues groove.

It’s a cool album. You have heard something like it before, pick up anything by anyone I have referenced here and you will find a certain amount of crossover. But it isn’t such a crowded market that there isn’t room for more and if you have worked your way through the aforementioned stalwarts, and any discerning music fan surely has, then Solomon King (and The Chosen) is the next artist to add to that corner of the record collection.

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