Record review: Rod Jones The Birthday Suit – The Eleventh Hour

This band unnecessarily advertises itself on the singer Rod Jones’s links with Idlewild. Listening to this album, you can hear Jones’s growth since the early days of Idlewild yet, still feel the songwriter’s influence upon the band.

 

After listening first time round, The Birthday Suit is evidently a band of its own.

It has a balanced set of tracks that contain distorted guitar and fast beats as well as slower, acoustic tracks.

Any Idlewild fan will embrace the guitarist’s recent release and the overall sound is very similar.

The album begins with ‘Do You Ever?’ which has energy and guitar riffs with thick, fuzzy sounds to suit Jones’ layered vocals, electric and sexy; a great introduction to a record.

‘On My Own’ stands out as one of the best tracks on the record and contains atmosphere and truth through both the lyrics and the music.

The melodies alone create a nostalgic feel to only emphasise the lyrics. You can hear the pain from Jones’s lyrics of “I’ve worn out/I’ve worn out through my soul” and the chorus of repeated “I don’t want to do this on my own”.

It is track of emotion and the anger seeps through the music.

It’s a far distance from ‘They Say I Love You’, perhaps the most mellow on the album and perhaps not the happiest. It does however allow you to appreciate Jones’s vocals on top of the acoustic guitar and big string layers.

Similarly, ‘World Gone By’ is another nostalgic number, the chorus is big with a catchy melody and more strings behind the distorted guitars.

The album has a flow, though there are more heavier sounds on some tracks than others, it flows well and is fantastically balanced.

Where it opens with a raw, distorted track, it ends with the beautiful and quirky ‘Talking Over You’. With piano as the base instrument, it also has fabulous harmonies with a female voice singing behind Jones.

In all, this sounds wonderfully haunting. Songs such as this remind us of the song writing skills of Rod Jones.

Words: Sarah Devine

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