Friday, 4 November 2016

Record Review - Claude Hay

Published in the Shortlist section of The Sydney Morning Herald, November 4.

Claude Hay
Roller Coaster

Claude Hay’s latest release is a considered affair. It’s considered in that the Blue Mountains native has put aside the rambunctious and raucous delivery of past releases and opted instead for a more subtle approach, putting more focus on the arrangements and layers these songs contain, as opposed to foot-percussion-fuelled guitar jams.

There was nothing wrong with those, Hay was the master, but this is the man thinking outside the box. Bringing in Ryan Van Gennip on bass (Chase The Sun) and Brian Cachia on percussion, along with a smattering of cello and backing vocals, the songs pulsate with a maturity, the mark of an artist who’s spent time thrashing, and is now looking for something a bit more artistically substantial perhaps.

Still based very much in the blues, Hay delves into mellow stoner rock territory (the title track, Love No More); slow and melancholy (Never Say Goodbye), along with a healthy dose of groove, all of which marry well. While his lyrics still leave a fair bit to be desired, Claude Hay has upped the bar with Roller Coaster, further cementing his reputation as one of Australia’s more powerful roots music performers.

Samuel J. Fell

SMH Version Here

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