For over a decade, Andy Steventon has been turning his musical heritage and exposure into original works by songwriting, performing and recording in his hometown of Zaragoza, Spain. Taking cues from multiple genres and styles, Food for the Soul is Steventon’s home-recorded debut album with instruments and vocals performed by Stevenson himself, his friend Gaz Rackham on the bass and drums by his brother Phil.
The album wastes no time in launching directly into a smoky rock groove in “Take it from Me”,arguably the most catchy song on the entire record. Classic electric guitar riffs, pulsing bass and steady drums lay down the structure for Steventon’s vocals to soar above. The tone changes ever so slightly in “This Boy is New” to incorporate bright, warbly guitars and funky slap bass in a full-fledged jam.
“The Simple Life” features retro elements in a melodious jaunt through a ’90s alternative rock soundscape. The ballad-fused theme continues in “Tomorrow’s Yesterday” but this time with a power chord laden chorus and hi-hats throughout the verses that give the track an additional vitality and energy.
Steventon’s darker, more metal side of songwriting comes through in “Food for the Soul,” the album’s title track that relentlessly plunges through minor chords and atmospheric guitars. Vocal harmonies highlight Steventon’s vocal ability and his raw emotions are palpable through his singing. The energy gets turned up a notch in “Nah Nah Yeah Yeah” an ultra danceable rock anthem built upon optimism and pure joy exhibited in unfettered singing and playing.
Following this sonic blast “Tonight” brings a more mellow, reserved quality to the album. Choral-like harmonies and classy guitar strumming make for a relaxing, yet interesting, listen. “I hope I’m not too Late” maintains the serene feel, but bouncy percussion and vocals generate a tropical reggae jive in the midst of classic rock instrumentation.
The record comes to a close with “Guardian Angel” a traditional rock song that does not stray far beyond expectations or conventions, and the aptly named “This is the End” a celebratory power anthem that pulls all the stops of guitar solos, creative drum beats and sailing vocals that cap off the eclectic, yet cohesive, album. Food for the Soul will undoubtedly serve Andy Steventon as a stepping stone to higher places in his aspiring career.
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