We’ve seen all the glowing comparisons; Cohen, Dylan, Cash, Prine and Young, and they are well placed but being all North American, their take on desolation and societal disintegration is bound to be different from that of a man from the English Northlands.
Bower´s recently released second album doesn’t hesitate to throw us headlong into the pit of alcoholism, loneliness and quiet desperation that’s the new norm in England’s rust belt. Bowers feels the pain and articulates it in finely honed lyrical details atop a piece of music that’s a strange striped down Americana which nevertheless is the perfect framework for these songs.
A minimalist rhythm guitar leads us on a trek through broken hearts and shattered dreams, the fine points filed in by electric guitar, pedal steel or Dobro, the grand design etched by Bower’s sonorous and deep baritone. The voice of doom never sounded so arresting. All slowly paced, the material invokes an endless trudge through tedium and hopelessness, leavened with some dashes of minor chording to keep a sense of unease shadowing the songs’ characters.