He is usually found behind bass guitar in the post-punk band Dartz! but taking disguise with the pseudonym Meadowlands, William Anderson is able to let his imagination run wild to create ‘Oak Clusters’.
Being an album of ten acoustic tracks, ‘Oak Clusters’ may not rank highly with many of you. Usually I am quite fond of acoustic songs as they show real emotion, passion and the singer is ripped down to the bare necessities. It gives the musician the opportunity to prove they are able to sing and write lyrics, as these become the dominant features of acoustic songs. It also lets the performer and listener get much more intimate and connected within such tender songs. Luke Pickett and Peter Brame have recently done extremely well and impressed me greatly. With this release, I had some problems getting wrapped up in the songs.
Most tunes on ‘Oak Clusters’ take on the same style of their predecessor and never explore anything different. Some are hardly two minutes long so by the time you begin to enjoy a song it is coming to an end. Those that are slightly longer are remotely enjoyable, but don’t cause any sparks. Even when the occasional song creates a bluesy effect or a jazzier reaction, it takes real imagination to visualise or impart some sentiment.
Lyrically there are some well-written songs here. However, the vocals projecting the meaning and emotional aspect of the song is lost. Between the vocals scarcely having any interest, just a placid and at times bland voice and an acoustic setting that doesn’t welcome, I was disappointed and not as impressed as I thought I would be over this record. The songs never made me want to become more involved with the musician creating the affectionate yet quite dreary album. Even acoustic songs need some light at the end of a tunnel, but the candle has been blown out for this record.