Hamell On Trial - The Terrorism Of Everyday Life

Ed Hamell is a one-man band best known for a very unique style of music and this has never been more apparent than on this release ‘The Terrorism Of Everyday Life’.

At first with the “Live from Edinburgh” statement on the front cover, I expected something a little more live gig like. There have been many “unplugged” albums, or “Live From…” releases and it was this I was expecting. The strange and unusual thing here, is the very entertaining and engaging hour long CD where music, story telling, comedy and songs are combined to create something wonderfully powerful. The way the fast paced guitar lead music and lyrical content work together is full of humour, which is the key ingredient and runs though the CD’s entirety.

Hamell is known for his rapid, powerful and very heavily amplified acoustic guitar usage in his musical performances; here the guitars keep a beat though the tracks. For ‘John Lennon’ the guitar style changes depending on the section of the track. On the lyrical verses the guitar is subtle so the spoken words can be heard while in the intervals the music is much more powerful and stand out; they become heavier and quite sharp on ‘7 Seas’.

The lyrical content of ‘The Terrorism Of Everyday Life’ is the highlight of the album as it varies so much. From politics to drugs (‘When You Are Young’), family (‘Inquiring Minds’), restaurants and their dirty habits (‘The Trough’), idols (‘John Lennon’) and my favourite topic, putting up with bosses you hate (‘Chris And The Angels’). The way the tracks work well together is whatever topic Hamell begins discussing is further explored in a more musical style with added depth and a comic edge. It is the comedy in the lyrics that made listening to this release so enjoyable. It is also the depth of explanations given that makes a listener more aware to the initiative and influences behind the written words.

The vocals are for the majority spoken, which with the comical edge sound fine. There was plenty of energy to make up for a lack of variety. One track that did stand out however was ‘Fathers Advice’. This was in due part to the musical sounding vocals rather than spoken words; it sounded the most like an actual song rather than a track for the laughs.

‘The Terrorism of Everyday Life’ was not as I expected; it was better. If you are stuck for something with a bit more of an edge, something a little different, then you may enjoy this one; full of comical lyrics, strong pinning of guitars and explanations behind the words present.