With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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‘Passions’ – Thirst September 7, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:41 pm
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Thirst is talented York musician Dom White who spent a number of years as the drummer for metal band the Family Ruin before returning to his home city to form This House Is Haunted, a rather ace alt.rock band. Dom is also the genial owner of the rather splendid FortyFive Vinyl Café in York. This is his first solo album and is an eclectic and enthralling collection of tunes. For me it has a feel of a British 1960s concept album, perhaps more the Zombies or the the Pretty Things rather than the Who. Opener “Memory Lane” initially has a really ambient feel to it before it builds into an understated power ballad for the 21st Century. If you like dreamy, dark (almost) power ballads you will love “Runaway”. That is the tune that stayed with me for quite a while beyond my first listen. First single “Afraid Of The Dark” had me imagining Henry Mancini collaborating with Ian Broudie, it has a real cinematic feel to it, as does much of the production on this collection. The “Afraid Of The Dark” video is well put together too, a collection of great clips from old horror films. I love the lyrics on the wonderfully piano led “Who I Am”. Dom’s voice is original and it is hard to find any obvious comparisons, but on “Foundling Wheel” it reminded me at times of David Bowie’s take on Bracht’s ‘Baal’ and the harmonies have their roots in classic British folk music.

Dom seems to have a knack for nailing the cinematic feel and scope in the instrumentation on this album, “Breather” really showcases as it is an instrumental would fit perfectly into the soundtrack of spooky French film, maybe alongside something by Mogwai. “Danse Macabre” has an almost nursery rhyme music box element in it’s main theme and I mean that in a good way and like the previous track is crying out to be used on a soundtrack for a noble dance of death scene. The deeper keyboard notes give a strong bass ambient feel to “Welcome Home”. After a few spins “All Of Them Witches”, the second single. is probably my favourite song on the album. The drum and percussion sound throughout has a languid glam rock feel, the sort of track that might have enhanced an album by maybe the Sweet in the mid 70s when they were trying to rid themselves of their manufactured pop band label. The overlaid vocals are superb. Album closer “Hand Of God” is the closest to a traditional rock song construct and like all great albums it enables a great crescendo finish. This first album from Thirst is a grower, give it a few listens and you will continue to go back to it, trust me!

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