Stephen Brunton and his crew have delivered a piece of modern folk that deserves to be heard far and wide.
It would be possible to think that given the ingredients for the dish which is 'Devilin me '- drums , percussion, chains and voice , there would be a danger of it sounding the same throughout. Not in the least.
The vocal style , rhythms and ambience are different on every track , it is poetic and passionate , challenging yet sentimental.
The title track has the feel of a chain gang song , the angst of a hard working man who won't be beaten by the grind of daily life - and who has spirit inside to keep him going.
Next , with 'Ain't got time for this ' Stephen rants about the c***s (no, not chaps) who wind him up ; it feels like walking in on a conversation between mates in the pub . Extraordinarily cathartic and perfect for people having 'one of those days' , if you sang this on the way home from work you would be calm by the time you got there.
'Righteous stick ' appears to be a protest against the hypocrisy of religion, the vocal delivery has more of a heavy metal twist , with some very clever lyrics ,' Barefoot in your handmade shoes ' .
Linns song , featured on the last unplugthewood podcast ( episode 18) . Very admospheric and animalistic vocals , excellent tribal drumming , headphone listening highly recommended for the full effect.
'I smell me in you ' finishes off the EP with a folky love song, about growing older and still enjoying how it feels to be close to a partner, it is surprisingly touching.
I have listened to the EP several times , and always forget that no 'musical notes' have been played , the melody in Stephen's vocal and the variant tones of the drums means nothing is missing.
Who is it for ? Well if you can't stand ' no holds barred' swearing , it's probably best not to listen , but in my view everything is appropriate and necessary.
The rage against middle age is a universal emotion , these songs are for those of us not prepared to wither away.
It gives us understanding , not just of Stephen , but of everyone. How it feels to grow old, to still have fire , to be angry , tired, and ultimately in love.
It's all here.
Devilin Me is available to purchase from here