Second album from Welsh trio.
The follow up to the 2003 album 'Haiku' arrives in the form of 'The Time of Summer Lightning'. The Welsh trio showcase the talents of vocalist and lyricist Lyndon Morgan, whose songs have captured the attentions of Jonathan Ross and XFM's John Kennedy.
Opening with 'One Day When God Begs My Forgiveness', a mournful lament of regret featuring a lyrical homage to The Beatles: "I lost my cherry to Strawberry Fields Forever, I fell in love to Rubber Soul". The sparse acoustic sound reveals the anguished nature of the lyrics and vocals making the opening track one with a significant emotional blow.
'The Republic of Howlin' Wolf' is a much more embittered song, with regret already becoming a theme threading through this album. The passionate and angry delivery of lines like "she said wanna hear a beautiful noise? I said now what noise would that be? She said the noise I make when I come," are all the more striking thanks to the soft acoustic delivery. Such nuances help to establish this album as something beyond a quiet outfit dealing in songs of regrets. The length of the song is staggeringly ambitious at almost nine minutes, but the lack of repetition fuels it along.
'Childhood Skies' is another intense song observing a girl who takes comfort inside a church, secretly hoping for a miracle. 'Fairytale' features guest vocals from Corrine Frazzoni in a song which sounds like a folk song from Dylan's classic era. Enhanced by its harmonica, the song stands far apart from anything modern and has a much more classic sound.
The cover of The Clash's anthemic 'Janie Jones' is barely recognisable, due to its rebirth as an acoustic folk ballad. The change works and breathes life into the method of covering an old classic. The following song 'My Space-Rock Tape' is bursting with masterful, searing lyrics like "Yvonne took off for New York, found a job at the Guggenheim, I used to stand at the end of the pier and pretend that she'd died. And eternity ached like a wound", and "Someone sprayed a message high on the cliffs so I climbed up it seemed important I see, but when I got real close all it said was Limp Bizkit rule. That old sadist time twists his knife again. Another day gone like piss down a drain".
Songdog are a band in a different class to most current bands, and have paired Bright Eyes style lyrics with Dylan's delivery. 'The Time Of Summer Lightning' lives up to its description as dark and poignant, and is a touching album filled with contemplative musings and searing imagery.