Sunday, 8 May 2016

THE MINING CO

CD Review

Burning Sun & the Atomic Powers Within


The Mining Co sounds like a band but it is simply Mike Gallagher who is based in London. He has a style which seems to remind of several other singers and yet which stands out and creates a clear and distinct way of bringing atmosphere into a song. 

Mike Gallagher who is The Mining Co
His take on Americana/country/folk is something which is pretty different.
The opening track, Country Heart, is almost like alcohol for the ears. You start listening to the laid-back and almost lazy tones and you suddenly start to feel chilled, woozy even light-headed. His soft voice along with the simple percussion and pedal steel produces a really chilled effect.
Gallagher has this style of singing which has the feel of someone almost about to fall asleep or just woken up, and that is in no way a criticism. His way of performing comes across as so chilled if you put your tongue on him it would be stuck there.
Cover of Night has that soul/gospel sound from the organ and Gallagher keeps his chilled persona for the track which is far too short. There is something so likable about listening to Gallagher. On the title track he keeps the same pace but adds a definite drum beat which, while giving it a clear tempo, never really detracts from the easy pace with which he executes his songs.
Copper Ghosts is close to a travelling song but that mellow tone of his is still there, almost like a comfort blanket.
His singing has elements from so many other performers and yet retains uniqueness. He seems almost destined to become something of a cult figure, the sort of singer who polarises people. However, whichever camp you choose to join, Gallagher is just a damn good listen.
There are elements of Bruce Springsteen on Ballad of the Mining Company, it has that sort of social comment strength to it. The Brooding percussion intro is ominous and in comes Gallagher's unassuming yet distinctive voice which feels like a blend of Springsteen, Mark Knopfler and Roger Waters.
The haunting backing from the pedal steel adds to what is a fantastically atmospheric track and arguably the best on the album.
Homeward Bound is a simple ballad which punches above its weight and you get more of a feel of the gravelly element to the singers vocals. You also get to feel more emotion from his performance as his singing undulates in an almost lazy manner.
The new album
You can almost see the sunset over Monument Valley in Shoot The Stars, you can feel the gentle warm winds stirring the sands, it has that feel about it. Gallagher produces this troubled element to this singing which puts across real emotion and the combination of guitars and pedal steel produces the perfect accompaniment.
The opening banjo chords of Lonesome Bird is close to a restrained version of a First Aid Kit song.
Once again Gallagher's laid back, almost reluctant tinge to his singing gives it real musical depth. The banjo undercurrent all the way through is a really nice touch, as is the native style drumming adding another layer to the track.
The album goes out on a stronger country style which is reminiscent of Johnny Cash but while Gallagher can hit those gravelly low notes his tone has a much softer, lighter element.
Though Gallagher, Burning Sun & Atomic Power Within has a definite style which lifts it above the usually country music fare. But the singer's combination of a deliberate and slower style and the elements of Americana/folk music gives this album a real standout quality and is perfect for when you are on the open road on a sunny evening.

Burning Sun & the Atomic Power Within is available now from the artist's website and through download.