The Henchman – Azwel (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Azwel’s sound has changed over the years but then any band worth their salt should be able to say the same, though it has generally taken the form of pop-rock. And more often than not they have been found skirting the more creative and interesting peripheries of the genre rather than opting for straighter takes on such a sound. But it is that blend of pop infectiousness and rock weight which creates their interesting internal dynamic, a creative collision which they put to great use on The Henchman.

It takes some gorgeously melancholic minor chord deftness, an acoustic guitar central pivot and dresses it up with all manner of understated rock credentials. But these additional sonics provide poise rather than punch happy to add depth rather than drama, and the subdued nature of The Henchman makes it a far more interesting prospect than the regular raucous rock and pristine pop which fills the airwaves.

But then with 14 albums to their name, that’s what I said…14…then should know what they are doing by now and it is the very act of not giving the audience what they want but instead giving them what they didn’t realise they wanted, which marks Azwel out as a band to check out.

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