Review: 24Pesos – When The Ship Goes Down

Posted on: Sunday, Jun 24, 2012

new Pesos cover high res.jpg

24Pesos – When The Ship Goes Down

(Ourgate Records: OPG0012)

Back in 2010, the second release from London-based band 24 Pesos, “Busted Broken And Blue” was very warmly received here, and it’s a pleasure to report their follow-up, the recently released, “When The Ship Goes Down”, is also a fine collection of energetic and groove-laden soulful blues, with a Delta-flavour brought up to date with some very modern beats, over 11 tracks all penned by Julian Burdock, and produced by Silas Maitland.

The line-up is the afore-mentioned Burdock, on lead vocals, guitar, Dobro and harmonica; Maitland on bass and backing vocals; also Moz Gamble (organ and backing vocals) and Mike Connolly (drums and backing vocals) . . . indeed having caught the band live I would say that Maitland and Connolly make up one of the funkiest rhythm sections on the British blues scene.

The opening “Melon Man” shows what the band are all about, a slide-driven high-energy blues kicked along by the rhythm section with Julian Burdock’s tough vocals and revved-up Dobro on top . . . and also sweet backing vocals from the rest of the band . . . and an illustration of his fine harmonica playing too. They ‘doff the cap’ to the immortal Huddie Ledbetter on “Leadbelly”, the legendary bluesman . . . the song being like a five-minute tribute and life story . . . the band get really funky on this, with the vastly-exerienced Moz Gamble adding some nice touches on organ.

They get soulful on “Ain’t Gonna Beg No More”, given a nice gospelly feel by the vocal harmonies; the pace being taken up again on the stomping “Peace In The Valley”, which again is driven by Burdock’s slide guitar and the top rhythm section. The lengthy “Tryin’ To Get Back To You” is dedicated to the late Captain Beefheart, with the growling vocal reminding one of the man himself . . . Gamble’s organ gives this a Doors feel.

The Chicago-influenced blues of “Walk Away” takes us into the 50s of the ‘Windy City’, with Julian Burdock showing his slide prowess again, but with some more nice organ from Gamble. The band turn the funk on again for the excellent “Did Your Daddy Wrong”, which leads into the title cut, “When The Ship Goes Down”, again with a soulful edge and it fairly drives along. The strutting “Mean Hearted Woman” rides on a lovely Gamble organ riff, with Burdock’s intense vocal on top, and again benefits from the ensemble backing vocals.

The closing “I Don’t Know” is a funky blues, with shades of the great Albert King , and is full of spiky lead guitar lines from Burdock over the rest of the band, and a fine closer to a most appealing collection from this fast-rising outfit, who are definitely worth checking out and catching when they head your way. A special mention must also go to the smashing artwork, courtesy of Jersey-based harmonica player, Giles Robson.


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