Saturday, 2 April 2016


EP Review

Ends and Starts

Midlander Rob Lane has an impressive track record of supporting roles and appearances at festivals and so there was something of the inevitable about him going solo.

Rob Lane
He is in the same vein as Jake Bugg with the opening his new EP with, My Love's In Deep which has more of a rock feel to it. Lane has a strong, clear voice and there is something raw about this track which has a great deal of energy and is projected by not being overly produced.
It Feels Like 5000 Miles brings it down a basic acoustic level and you get a feel for how relaxed he is with his guitar, you also get a hint at his versatility as this ballad goes almost to the other end of the musical spectrum from the previous track.
Lane turns his hands to the blues for Break My Heart Blues and while it's an enjoyable offering it doesn't feel as relaxed or as easy under his fingers as the previous track. His blues singing isn't quite there either, there isn't any rawness or gusto in the verses he sings which unfortunately makes them sound a little half-hearted.
He goes back to the acoustic ballad for Wilful Independent. The song does grate a little on the listener as it never seems quite finished and has the feel of being a little rough around the edges. If that was intentional then it was achieved but it also has the feel of being produced in someone's bedroom which isn't always a bad thing.
His ballad singing improves on Teardrop Tattoo which does have the feel of Donovan's early stuff. It's one of those songs which grows on you. It's laid back style is quite endearing and again there is that under-produced feel which gives it an edge almost as if it was put together under the threat of the studio being raided.
His solo EP
There is a distinct retro-feel about Alone Now. It has the feel of the 50s dance hall groups and it shows Lane's strength in producing what is close to a power-ballad. It is without doubt one of the best tracks on the album and demonstrates Lane has been influenced by many styles but he also has a definite talent as a songwriter.
The final track of the EP is in complete contrast to the opener. Mary's Theme is a gently instrumental which is easy on the ear and is a pretty cool track to wrap up the disc.
Brummie Lane has played alongside Mark Knopfler, Ellie Goulding, John Mayer, Bob Fox and Steve Tilston and has now found his feet to pursue a solo career. This EP is a good start and hints that there is a lot more to come from this guy.

Ends and Starts is available now through Fish Records and can be bought from the artist's website.

You can catch Rob live at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell on April 3, The Old Cock Inn, Worcester on April 9, Southside Blues, Birmingham April 14 then if you fancy a trip abroad you can catch him in Germany on April 27 at Kulturcafe Lichtung, Cologne, Brandmarken, Jena on April 29 and the following night at Karambolage, Dresden.

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