Tom Heath is off to a decent start. His recent EP Who Fights Who Falls contains well-crafted songs with creative lyrics. According to Heath “the ultimate theme emerging is that of survival, with the middle two tracks based on relationships between characters in the books The Life of Pi (Take Anything You Want), and Battle Royale (Caged Lions)”. At its core it is folk music that is pop-oriented and relies on acoustic guitar and his voice (although there is some pleasant violin placed throughout).
The recording was done on a laptop and consumer equipment and works fine when it is just his voice and guitar but when multiple instruments are introduced it is very noticeable. At its worst the mix sounds like it’s suffocating leaving no room for any of the instruments to breath.
The album kicks off with “Unsettled” which gains more and more energy as it progresses. Heath’s vocal performance is confident and lays on top of the mix throughout. Unfortunately, it never truly shines because of the convoluted mix.“Take Anything You Want” works better with the minimal setup of guitar, voice, some percussion and violin. Heath puts everything he has into this performance as he plays his guitar aggressively and spews emotion into his lyrics. By the end of the song the band has locked on tight to a good groove and doesn't let go. “Caged Lions” is another solid song with some of the most engaging violin parts. Closing with “Settle Down” Heath saves the best for last delivering a dynamic vocal performance that showcases his range.
There is no doubt that Heath can write a song but this EP has room for improvements. Beyond the obvious condition of the recording the performances sometimes felt forced. My hats off to Heath who still has plenty of time to refine his talents and grow as an artist.
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