John MacLeod Launches Attack With New Music Project
ee Barber || September 16th
It could be said that John MacLeod has completely reinvented himself as a song writer, but a more precise description of the debut EP from his new project, Attack Of The Vapours, would be that has finally found the sound he has long been searching for.
Here Comes The Brim is packed, quite literally, to the brim (all puns intended), of music which has taken a very different path to that which we may expect from the man behind Unexpected Sunshine. Granted, there were of course other equally important members of The John MacLeod Band, so important in fact that John himself desired to change the name of the project to something a little less self-indulged.
Here the name Attack Of The Vapours made the rounds after it had been suggested by Matt Tyrer, had been a part of The Jonh MacLeod Project. Fast forward around 18 months and TJMB has dissolved, but the name Attack Of The Vapours had set alarm bells off in the mind of MacLeod, and so began the new project after humbly asking for permission to keep the name.
This gesture in itself says an awful lot about John MacLeod. Not only did he seek to gain permission to us a name which was no more than an idea in his previous band, he has continued to honour that name's origin, and to me this speaks volumes of the man's nobility, something that can be hard to find in an industrial city such as ours.
I digress. Here Comes The Brim is a collection of songs that have seemingly flowed straight from the dreams of John MacLeod and into the recording studio; that is, from various conversations (and seeing plenty of Facebook posts sharing the love for Queens Of The Stone Age) over the years, I feel I have an ear for the kind of sound John has been attempting to track, and yet every project thus far has, though all marvellous in their own right, fallen just short of the ideal in John's mind for one reason or another.
John's new project, however, had me gasping from the off. 'He's done it. He's found his sound. He's done it. I don't believe it.' I sat on the living room floor with a grin slowly growing across my face, an element of pride almost at seeing John throughout the years strive to be the musician he knows he can be, and then actually putting together a record that showcases his talent as a songwriter and musician so perfectly that it's all I can do to smile.
Songs like Misfitz bring about the sense of theatre brought about possibly by John's admiration and appreciation of Mr Joshua Homme and his Queens Of The Stone Age project, with some quick fire guitar work from Jack Tasker creating a dramatic, tumultuous atmosphere.
Puppykicker is a cunning, contemporary jazz piece with some excellent piano play from Charlie Ormrod as well as some wonderful vocal work from MacLeod. Song of the record however has to go to the song which might also be the longest title of any record, What You've Lost In Job Satisfaction, You've Gained In Meaningless Aphorisms. This sees John MacLeod's new project hit full throttle, bursting with theatrical wonder and a powerful choir-like chorus, featuring Moorlands Radio's local music show presenters Gary Wilcox and Emily Jones (who are both talented musicians in their own right) and also Sarah Brennan and John himself, which makes for a stunning end to the record. Here Comes The Brim, John's finest work yet, leaves REBEL excited to see what else he has buried up his sleeves.