google5fdb2843fc4f1b5b.html Rock Chic: The Tom Fuller Band album review: Ask

Friday, 26 August 2011

The Tom Fuller Band album review: Ask

Bands who hail from great music cities often show off their influences as proud as a peacock’s feathers, and The Tom Fuller band from Chicago are no exception.

They’re here with their latest album ‘Ask’ and in true form, it’s R’n’B, it’s rock ‘n’roll, it’s exciting and intriguing. The windy city has its’ fair share of musical stars; Cheap Trick, Wilco and Eddie Vedder to name a few. Not just home to the Sears Tower and John Belushi, it has given us the lot from blues and Dixie jazz to hip hop and rock. This album fully embraces the creativity of this musically cultural city.

‘Ask’ is a journey through the recent travels of Mr.Fuller, in his words a ‘songbook’ that’s accompanied him along the trail. The band have been rolling along collecting stone after musical stone for this album, with new band members including Abe Laboriel Jr and Brian Ray, who Tom was a huge fan of growing up when they played with Sir Paul McCartney.

The album starts off with the track ‘Lovers’, an instantly satisfying perk-up with its pounding drums, melodic guitar riffs and a catchy chorus to tap along to. Title track ‘Ask’ has gravelly vocals that swing back and forth with ease through the verse and then the punchy chorus with harmonic backing to bring senses of summertime and relaxation.

We are carried further away by this contagious compilation by tracks such as ‘Hellfire Angel’, which begins with Tom’s smoky tones gradually convoying us to a chorus that bursts in without invitation; heavy and bare, then back to the light fingered strumming and softer sounds.

By the end of the album with ‘Garden Dreaming Days’ you feel refreshed and invigorated by this magical mystery tour. Bending guitar, sliding organs, Beatlesque melodies; the influence of McCartney and friends comes through here and it’s no bad thing. Carrying hints of Cheap Trick and co from their roots throughout the album, this makes you want to sit up and listen to artists like this who have homegrown talent and know how.

If you want an album that is easy to listen to but also makes you think; about life, love and anything in between, told though the eyes of a travelling band, then this is for you.

Rating: 4/5

Alaina Henderson

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