Fronted by alternative south Wales music scene veteran, Chris Ridgeway, the oddly monikered Welsh outfit Cakehole Presley has after, a five-year delay, finally got round to releasing its second album, In The Used To Be. Completed last year, it was put on hold following the passing of co-leader Mark Humphries, it serves as a fine tribute to him.
Humphries sings lead on two of the tracks, shimmering, and soaring album opener Hope I’m Reaching Your Heart and the more dreamily reflective acoustic Tavira Girl, which he also wrote. The other numbers are all down to Ridgeway, his first being the chords cascading anthemic title track with its hummed choral background vocals, the contrast quickly being made with the bluesy cabaret of Cobbled Streets & Syphilis that may well call to mind the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
As those tracks indicate, it’s a fairly stylistically diverse collection, embracing the undulating Reeva, Choose Me, harmonica-accompanied, croaky acoustic troubadour ballad Sunderland and the soulfully sung contemplative, keys-backed Sweet Dreams (Little Darlings) on the one hand and the jaunty, bouncing rhythm swagger of break up song Spectacles (It’s The Little Things),a barrelhouse Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down or the driving choppy electric blues of Great Together and Blood In The Barrel on the other. If one track doesn’t do it for you, there’s likely to be three more that will.
In The Used To Be is Out Now
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