Boomkat Product Review:
We've been banging on about Northern fret fondler Rick Tomlinson for what seems like years now. It all started way back with the release of his debut 7", the shockingly good 'Voice of the Seven Woods' (err which confusingly is the name of this album too... and the artist name... hmmm) and we've been chomping at the bit ever since for something more substantial. Of course there have been cdrs, live shows and other 7"s dropping in between, but nothing quite says 'I love you' like a full length record, especially when its all packaged up to look like it actually came out way back in the mid 70s or something. We all know the Finders Keepers/Twisted Nerve lads know exactly where they're coming from (and haven't put a foot wrong in the last couple of years) and this is just about the pinnacle of their growing mound of psychedelic folk. I realise there's been something of a surplus of acoustic-guitar/folk/psychedelic albums in the last few months (and weeks even...), and I also realise that many of them have been really rather stunning, but it's important to understand that what Tomlinson manages to do here is to step out of the scene he's become synonymous with by making an album so varied it almost defies description. Treading dangerously into Pentangle-patented folk rock waters one minute and angling for a Selda-influenced (the lovely Anatolian-exile apparently donated an electric Saz to Tomlinson's cause - how's that for credibility?) Turkish psychedelia the next there's a defiance of form which can't help but endear you to his sound. The virtuoso guitarist seems to have a wry smile as he confounds our expectations and in the end that's what makes his debut album so special. Where he could easily have a quite justified egotistical 'I can play guitar better than you' feeling to the record (we've seen him live and he actually can play, very very well) instead there's a humour, a genuine love of music and a humility which makes us think he's just going to go from strength to strength. Maybe it's his passion for records (be it Krautrock, Tropicalia or Middle Eastern folk) or maybe it's his Northern roots but whatever it is we are pretty sure that 'Voice of the Seven Woods' is going to end up as one of the albums of the year and Rick Tomlinson is before too long going to be the name on everyone's lips. It's nice to see Twisted Nerve releasing albums again, especially ones as lovely as this. Essential purchase!