THE EASTERN: The Eastern
By Martyn Pepperell
While not perhaps the most original blues, folk or country group out, Canterbury collective The Eastern are possessed of a sound which is heartfelt, authentic and infinitely listenable. Riddled with what seems to be a mixture of equal parts whimsical old school charm and open-ended sonic expansiveness, this self-titled record serves as an excellent reminder of the merits of harmonica, mandolin, banjo, glockenspiel and the kind of foot stomping energy and straight from the soul song-writing often associated with early C20th American blues, folk and rockíníroll. Well recorded, mixed and mastered (in an old world manner admittedly), despite my measured enthusiasm, not every song on this release hits quite right. There are however some excellent numbers onboard, in particular the sublime This Is The Always, and the epic Crow River, which is one of those excellent songs that you feel like you already know; even on first listen.