The members of Ten No.6 have one simple intention – to write and record original music. The five-piece Welsh group formed in 2017 and claim that they make “just noisy guitar music really.” You might have a different take as a listener, as I have, after listening to City Boy, a six-song follow-up to 2018’s EP The Hooligan. Pulling influences from first generation punk bands, which I’m guessing are from the likes of The Stooges, Ramones and the Sex Pistols, among many others – Ten No.6 are not into clichés. They make an honest attempt to create something that is truly their own and I think they found what they were after on this latest recording. The quintet is fronted by singer Lizzie Gormley, Nick Jones on lead guitar, Matthew Witherstone on rhythm, Nick Greenhill on bass and James Griffiths on drums.
To start off is “City Boy” – a great sounding song with a clean, live feel. A lot of good texture can be heard here – to the sweet lead guitar on top of the crunchy rhythm, to the backing vocals and Gormley’s smooth toned voice. “Show Them Something” features a familiar rhythm with old school sensibilities and fantastic solo guitar action by Nick Jones. “One More Time” starts off with Griffiths leading on the hi-hat and then full melodic lead and rhythm guitars coming in. To me, this was one the band’s more put together songs, meaning it would make a great single; it just felt like a strong song overall. Gormley really sings her heart and soul out on this one, too. “I Know a Man” has a fun bass line, wicked guitar feedback and solos and a driving beat – all encompassed inside a lot of attitude. As the song went on, I realized this was the band’s shortest number, but it sure packed a lot of punch!
“Down for Good” features a more pop-rock-folk flavor, kind of like that feel good tune for the summer you have on replay. Oh yeah, and Jones’ solo gets damn good here. The last tune “The Only Way to Go” has a pop-rock edge to it with a sad and sweet melody that was indeed likable.
Overall, Ten No.6 reminded me of a more punkish version of the Go-Gos, the Pretenders, Patti Smith and the lesser known band from Athens, Georgia, Pylon (a post-punk band from way back who hung out with R.E.M. when no one had an inkling of how big they would get). In short, I was hearing a lot of influences from this group. They’ve got just enough of a raw live sound, and also an effortless knack for mixing older sounds with newer ones. In my view, the band’s chemistry works like a charm and it showed on City Boy.
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