The Television Of Cruelty is the project for Ian Williams. Williams has a long musical history going back to the ’80s. Williams explains that his recent release Small Town Stardust is “a move to a style of music I've been edging towards for a few years now. I wanted a mix of rock, folk, maybe dance with a slightly scuzzy feel.” I’m not sure about the scuzzy part or the dance part but everything else I agree with.
Up first is “The Lingerie Of Sabotage” which was a highlight. The song reminded me of Bowie with a tinge of Pink Floyd. Williams says the song is “a plea to undermine this conservatives' uprising with love (and sex), not war.” I think there was a little movement in the ’60s that was touting a similar message.
“Thirty Quid Guitar” is more straight rock in the essence of a band like The Rolling Stones. The chorus is infectious and catchy. There weren’t many surprises but the song worked. Up next is “Small Town Stardust” which has an upbeat vibe and fits more into the folk category.
The hooks are again extremely catchy. I like any song that has the word stardust in there because it reminds me of two of my favorite favorite people - the David Bowie moniker (Ziggy Stardust) and my favorite astronomer Carl Sagan. He closes with the epic, reflective and hopeful “Road Movie.”
Williams goes five for five with these songs. Although he wears his influences from the ’60s and ’70s on his sleeve the songwriting was great. I think the English accent also helped. Williams went a route I always approved of. He recorded and mixed his music and then sent it to a mastering engineer. I think the proof is the pudding. Although I could argue about a couple of minor issues that I had with aesthetics but I don’t want to be pedantic.
Overall, I thought this was a pretty cohesive album that melded folk and rock. Recommended.
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