ALBUM REVIEW: Tom Williams & The Boat “Teenage Blood”

I’ll admit, I did not get Tom Williams & The Boat at first. I listened to the first few promos I got sent through wanting to find the key to their sound, but seemed to fail at every attempt. Then I heard “Teenage Blood” and suddenly something clicked. The wait was worth it as since that moment I have been hooked on the six piece anti-folk troup from Tunbridge Wells.

Opener and title track “Teenage Blood” is slightly misleading as to the overall sonic of the album. A bright, breezy radio friendly number, its chanty chorus will have you singing along. The track “Teenage Blood” is for Tom Williams & The Boat what “Zorbing” was to Stornoway – a chart version of the album’s content.

As the album continues, Williams’ gruff vocals takes centre stage, at times warm and welcoming, others cold yet contented. While pretty ditty “My Bones” showcases Williams at his most homely, it is the raw “Little Bit In Me” that offers the album’s real gritty bite.

If only “Teenage Blood” found a better balance between the light (“Neckbrace (Big Wave)” and “Too Young”) and dark (“Emily”), it would knock a listener of their feet immediately. As it is, it takes a few listens to get past the more immediate moments to find the genuine gold.

Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

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