THE PECKHAM COWBOYS – 10 Tales From The Gin Palace
aaamusic | On 18, Jan 2014
The sound of The Peckham Cowboys is distinctively blues in origin. The band are set to release their second album 10 Tales from the Gin Palace on the 14th of February and, as their name might suggest, features a dirty south bluesy sound with an urban London, rock and roll twist. From the outset the blues influence is highly evident with blues style guitar licks, blues melody lines, and the almost spoken word story telling quality to singer Marc Eden’s raspy vocals heard in opener ‘Not Guilty’. In typical blues fashion the lyrics recall a recent court appearance of Eden with the lyrics ironically making light of the situation as he chants “I’m not guilty, not this time”, with the mockery aided by a spoken monologue in the middle of the track, soaring horn sections and harmonica licks.
The story continues ‘Outside the Magistrates’ with ‘Bromley Girls’, as Eden spots a girl in ‘black leather skirt and boots made of suede’. The lyrics are written with remarkable wit as Eden chants “Chelsea’s an old school whore; she’s a Bromley Girl no more”. The lyrics are mostly narrative and the track features a spoken dialogue between Eden and Chelsea. ‘Debt Collector’ is a quirky track shining a light on the more London influenced side of the band, and is reminiscent of a cockney pup-rock sing along.
If you thought the guitars couldn’t get any more distorted, think again! ‘Quarantined’ kicks in with guitars so drenched in distortion they have been reduced to a heavy mind melting fuzz. This is added to by the distorted vocals of Eden which are so gravely they bring to mind the rugged vocal styling of Mark Lanegan. The bellowing bass by Nigel Mogg and percussion by Ryan McCormick are particularly effective on this track and truly bring life and a certain energy to the track. This is furthered by the horn section by Duncan McKay that shines through bringing a bright and vibrant colour to the mix, like the sun piercing through a grey sky which makes this track one of the highlights of the album.
‘Poor Boy Blues’ brings a dark ambiance, with penetrating down tempo percussion, filthy guitar riffs and gravely bass guitar. The harmonica arches over the track persistent with a sense of jailhouse sleaze, drifting off alone into the distance at the end. ‘You’re Only In It For The Money’ is ripe with complex musical layers and familiar old school rock and roll flavour reminiscent of bands such as AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and Guns N’ Roses with a modern-day twist. This old school Guns N’ Roses vibe persists through ‘She Was Sweet On Me’, and ‘Cut It Cut It’, the latter of which again features spoken monologue highlighting the narrative quality of the lyrics. The album ends with ‘Knocked Senseless’, which is in keeping with the blues addled tracks that have gone before it.
10 Tales from the Gin Palace is an exceptional blues album with the juxtaposition of two contrasting worlds at the core of intrigue; the music is predominantly American influenced with splashes of London creeping through and dominating the lyrics with references to the DLR train and the London Eye. The instrumental ability is second to none and the addition of the horn is perfection.