Having delivered two earlier albums, re-located Brit artist Del Thomas is known around the Wellington scene as a blues-rock artist.
‘Changes Coming’ takes its title from the final song, a clap-along, poppy acoustic track with positive-affirmation gospel flavour.
His new album’s other 10 tracks are mostly given to reflecting on the frustrations of his past, relationship breakdowns and the like.
Thomas mostly uses a gravelly voice that suits such tales but unfortunately lacks the range, or maybe the confidence, to do some of his songs full justice.
Having the very tasteful electric guitar of Dougal Speir well to the fore in the production certainly helps cover off any such weakness, the BVs of Lynley Christoffersen and Jade Eru also sweetening the deal. Elliotte Fuimaono on bass and drummer Mo Phillips make up the rest of a very good band, with Thomas himself adding guitars, keys and well-judged harmonica.
There’s plenty of interest and variety in their approach, with shades of country and hints of Americana radio rock decorating the album’s blues core. End Of The Line is a neatly wrapped (almost prog rock) instrumental that illustrates the band left any egos outside the Paremata studio door, and understand the less-is-more approach.
It’s followed by Look After Yourself, back to classic noisy shuffling blues, complete with harmonica and lead guitar solos and the wife-done-left-me tale that ‘Changes Coming’ seems solidly built on.