Recluse - The Quiet Hours (Album)

Hailing from Cardiff in Wales, Recluse are Blues-driven Heavy Rock 3 piece and this is their second album. 
 
The first two songs on this album, Horrible Beautiful and Move Me, are fairly ordinary and straight forward, setting the scene (sound wise) for Recluse. Temper shows a different side, upping the game somewhat: the bass kicks it all off before the whole group dive in, a definite groove holding it together with some nice twists and turns all in keeping with the mood. A stunner of a tune. Now You're Gone is a barely restrained animal, the feedback always threatening to scream out and over a song swamped with melancholy. Hard-edged guitar begins Leper Captain, it turns into a grinding melodic Rock song. And listen to that solo. And the neat time-change. A solid riff stamped right across the song with vocals that sail above it all. A lone guitar lazily strums out the opening riff for Machine' Way, the group filling it out before the pace slows. The next number, Soothe with it's funky bassline and shifting drums is an awesome and beguiling tune with a stand out riff/vocal melody. A change in mood is delivered in the guise of Bury Us Separately: acoustic guitar and bass interweave in classic style before returning to firmer Rock territory. Augustus pushes the dirt to the fore again with a well considered song, it never takes too long to build up. Ectropion fools you with its (over-long) quiet intro but when Recluse start making noise it all makes up for it before returning to a quiet closure. Drums and then phased bass announce Cherry, a cool fuzzed out groove flowing through its veins. It shifts up a gear halfway into an improvised and short section to conclude in classic 70s fashion. I Only Pretend To Know: a lost song from the pen of Nick Drake, heavy with atmosphere. The title track of this album, The Quiet Hours, begins with the sound of vinyl (for nearly 2 minutes!) and then we are rewarded with a simple song. This sounds like a demo without any sparkle (although it doesn't need it) relying instead on the quality inherent in itself.
 
So now, it's down to the pros and cons of this album. There is only one negative about this release and that is its duration. If 2 or 3 songs were removed this would be a stronger experience. Now the good stuff. No click tracks: all the songs have been recorded live in the studio and have that loose and ramshackle feel to them that makes it more of a reflection of how Recluse perform live. There is also the guitar sound present on the majority of this album, a truly dirty sound that has that vintage 70s Rock flavour permeating the entirety of what you hear. Full throated vintage inspired Rock never sounded so good.