Those Huddersfield guitar thrashers Able’s Army have produced a tight, clean and clever EP with God Won’t Let Me Stop. Able’s Army are monsters live with a handy supply of crowd pleasing, tight, clean and heavy tunes. This EP adds to their already impressive roster and places it on recording for posterity. The band (Mike Foy, guitar and vocals, James Livesey, bass and vocals and George Corless on drums) have a few years under their belt first practicing together and then playing as a band and musically that experience pays off in spades.
On first listen God Won’t Let Me Stop took me back somewhat – 50 years or so to be exact. The song demonstrates the bands love of The Beatles with a deceptively simple sounding song structure and that cheery uncomplicated vocal of the early/mid era of the fab 4. What marks out the song is its general ability to bring a grin, but some particularly crisp and well fitting rock riffs. When I spoke with the band I said I got the vibe of The Yardbirds; that kind of mid 60’s period between close harmony and a great blues guitar – kind of like The Beatles with teeth.
Given it’s not exactly the sound I expect when I think of Able’s Army, God Won’t Let Me Stop initially felt like something of a strange choice of EP title track but with a dozen plays now, I’m thinking it is an inspired and brave choice; the main tune gives a new facet to the band’s style and cuts Able’s Army apart from most of the current sounds out there.
I’m a particular sucker for a rocking tune with a really catchy chorus and the next track Why So Dry is seriously hard to beat. This is destined to be a live show stopper and a good track to drunk bounce along to on the floor. The vocals here are almost reticent in style fit the lyrics of a lad asking why things are not going so well and speculating whether it is worth carrying on or giving up. Coming Down also has that deliciously raw simplicity of an earlier age and has that nice edgy dangerous feel with a guitar that ain’t gonna ever say no, very solid and nicely confidently sparse drums and a mean snarl in the vocals. I know Able’s Army kill it live and this is a perfect piece of strut rock which rather reminds me the fun and sass of Franz Ferdinand and prime Brit Pop.
Waste My Time is another nice flowing hard tune and proves those lads are indeed very able when it comes to a tasty hook and chorus line. This track has a good solid feel to it, and I can see why fans of the likes of The Cribs or the Arctics would be perfectly comfortable in these safe hands. The classic Sober Side of Tipsy closes the EP with a very strong statement, the song is one of those thoughts about a past love when the beer loosens the tongue. Again Able’s Army produce a prime cut of meat – a strong clear voice, killer guitar and very solid drums and bass.
I know the music industry is harsh territory and bands like Able’s Army must sometimes wonder whether the practice, effort and sacrifice is worth it but a track like Sober Side of Tipsy (and indeed the rest of a very creditworthy EP) is something they can reflect back upon with no small pride. The grandkids are gonna be fans.
Able’s Army have a few gigs lined up where they will be giving the EP and their other releases an airing. This band are never ones to disappoint live so come on down to the official EP launch with the impressive Twisted Helix and FADS at Huddersfield Northern Quarter (mind the steps to the bar people( on Saturday 27th April. On 11 May, our intrepid trio support those hardworking stalwarts Maitlands at the legendary Manchester Castle (how tasty is that) and then later on 14 June the band are support to Jabbawoki at the 360 club in Leeds Lending Rooms.