Strike Up The Banned is located on the Isle of Wight, UK. It’s a one-man project and he just released More Welly which is a twelve-song album. According to the artist, “Strike up the Banned is a name that came about after difficulties with distribution companies.”
“Be Lucky” is the opener and revolves around melodic guitar parts and spoken word. There’s no hook or verse. It was interesting but it did feel long to me. “Dancin' Gene” is more upbeat and lively. I thought the spoken word and music worked really well in this case. The juxtaposition between the dramatic vocal delivery and more dance inspired music worked really well.
“The Ghost of Mickie Most'' sounded like it was influenced by Industrial music. I was getting NIN vibes with this song. The spoken word continued and I was warming up to it. There is also the airy and atmospheric rock of “Ice Cream Girl” and the electro singer/songwriter vibe of “Time Travel.”
There are more styles and genres the artist flirts with including the funky lounge vibe of “Binfield Corner.” One of the highlights was “Darkbird.” This song also was one of the most poetic with some great lines. The artist says “Darkbird sees all who live. And those now passed away. His song is for the ears of Aker. Each night, ‘till the break of day.”
As the album progresses, I thought there were some highlights including the dance worthy “American Dogz,” the lush and serene “Key to a Thousand Locks” as well as the closer “The Lost Heroes of Albion.”
I will say I’m usually not a big fan of spoken word but the artist in this case has a great voice for it. In fact, I thought he could easily be a narrator in a film.
This was an engaging release that flirts with a lot of genres and ends up feeling original and unique. Take a listen.
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