‘Turn The Car Around’ by Gaz Coombes – Album Rating: 5/5 ★★★★★
Gaz Coombes’ third solo album was a new entry at number six in the UK album charts this week and it couldn’t be more deserved. It’s such a fantastic and interesting record, quality song writing, and heroic musicianship.
Album opener ‘Overnight Trains’ begins with a piano led intro, George Harrison styled sultry slide guitar and a Bowie-esque vocal. The track really comes alive with dramatic drum crashes and guitar stabs. Meanwhile, lyrically it’s cinematic.
But it’s the next three tracks of ‘Turn The Car Around’ that really sum up the variety of styles on this record. They are all different but equally brilliant.
‘Don’t Say It’s Over’, which was the first track recorded for this album, has Coombes on top form vocally here, with the accompanying piano pushing the beat and tambourine high in the mix. It’s such a pleasure to hear guitar solos again (two on this track). Moreover, it’s a rare thing to hear these days and ‘Don’t Say it’s Over’ wouldn’t sound out of place on an early noughties Doves record.
‘Feel Loop’ (Lizard Dream) then takes the record down a funky drum and bass loop avenue. This sounds like nothing else on the record. It’s a filthy number in a good way with an addictive sounding lead vocal and guitar solo which talk to each other back and forth. The handclaps are great too. Three tracks in, and the variation of all of them has been incredible to hear.
Arguably the standout tune from the album has to be ‘Long Live The Strange’. It’s a song of anthemic quality – lyrically calling out the positivity of everyone being different. Built around a dirty guitar riff that hooks you in immediately. Also, it has a Radiohead ‘Electioneering’ style of sound to it. This song is there to make you happy – one hundred per cent jovial.
The title track is also a must listen – with an acoustic Kinks vibe to it. You will be humming this one to yourself for days on end.
Overall, Gaz Coombes has well and truly delivered here with ‘Turn The Car Around’. He is up there with the country’s best songwriters and hopefully after this release, will get the more consistent recognition he deserves. Furthermore, the variation on this record is truly remarkable. Also, it would be no surprise if it doesn’t end up on a few ‘Best of 2023’ lists when December rolls round. Long live guitar solos……
So, wait no longer, you can listen below!
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