Voodoo Johnson – Black Powder Mother Loader

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Review by Harry Paterson

Folk hanging around on the off-chance of Voodoo Johnson releasing a naff record are advised as follows: pull up a chair, bring some sandwiches and get yourself something to read. You’re in for a looooong wait…

The contributory elements that make them everyone’s Next Big Thing coalesce on Black Powder Mother Loader to superb effect and satisfaction is not so much guaranteed as arriving complete with a life-time warranty.

The slow-burn grind of ‘Swear It To The Sun’ shows the dark mojo, with which Voodoo Johnson are possessed, working it’s old black magic with no signs of abatement. In fact, there’s even a noticeable and exponential improvement in both the band’s song-writing and delivery. Maybe it’s vox man, Taylor-Stoakes, really finding his groove or lead plank-spanker, Gethin, who is absolutely on fire here, being touched by the hand of Satan. Who knows? It just works. Does it ever.

Let’s talk about Taylor-Stoakes for a mo. He might have the sort of name you’d expect to see inscribed on the brass name-plate of a stockbroker’s office-door but he sings like a dude who spent too many hours hanging around the crossroads at midnight. A very credible contender for the best male rock vocalist anywhere on these shores, his menacing blues roar on ‘Dogs of War’, for example, is breathtaking.

Comprising five tracks, the others being, ‘United Divided’ ‘Black Skies Mist’ and ‘The Garden’, this isn’t so much an E.P. as half an album and quality is branded right through to the bones of every song.

There will be those who don’t like Black Powder Mother Loader, of course. Mainly dead people and the hopelessly stupid. Anyone else, though, not loving this disc deserves to be spat upon in the streets and then stoned to death. Buy this muthafucker now. No dissent permitted.

9/10

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