Sunday, 21 March 2010
EP Review: Shambles Vs The Dragonwizard
Someone once told Shambles Miller, "When you sing you sound like Frankie Boyle" - he doesn't. However, on opening track 'Pssst!', I couldn't help but draw comparisons with Billy Connolly. Why? I have no idea. I would like to point out that this is neither a criticism nor a compliment, it's just an odd thought which was playing on my mind.
With that said, for me 'Pssst!' is the stand out track. The song moves along at a sprightly pace, illustrating Shambles' talent for writing amusing lyrics and uplifting melodies. It's a cheery little number and a pleasant opening to his debut EP.
The rest of the EP doesn't disappoint either. 'Robots' is a relaxing and dreamy track, despite it's punky edge, and 'My Best Friend Is An Outsider' is performed with such passion that it really helps to separate Shambles Miller from the countless other singer/songwriters across the country. However, it was 'Nothing Unfolding' which really struck a chord with me. This track took me on a melodic journey as I found myself submerged in the music, hanging on Shambles' every word. The song plays like a scrapbook, the imagery created through the heartfelt lyrics and the story progressing as though pages are being turned.
Overall, this is an impressive debut. The only possible problem with the EP is the huge contrast between the likes of the witty, upbeat 'Pssst!' and the more somber 'Nothing Unfolding'. However, bearing in mind that this is a debut EP, the chance to showcase two different sides to his music is not necessarily a bad thing. Shambles Miller's simple approach to songwriting takes acoustic music back to basics, stripping it down to the bare minimum and producing raw, heartfelt and at times humorous songs. It's an excellent beginning for my new favourite soloist and still with lots of room for improvement, things can only get better for Shambles Miller.
You can see Shambles Miller for free at MacSorley's in Glasgow on April 14th.
You can find him here on MySpace, Twitter and WordPress.
Buy the EP here or download the digital version.