The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

THE UNION
THE UNION

 

 

This could have been the album of the year and when you listen to the first few tracks you will see why. The Union starts off strongly and builds making you believe, but then somewhere along the way the foot comes off the pedal somewhat and the urgency and undoubted talent on display slips into cruise mode. It’s hard to put a finger on where exactly, but it’s a real shame.

 

I don’t want anyone out there to think that this is not a great album though because it is. There are some killer tunes here and a hugely cool blues vibe throughout. It is Thunder-like in places which is completely understandable with Luke Morley (Thunder’s main songwriter) on board. Over the years he’s written some great songs and continues to do so here. Part of me still wonders, though, if it is the attempt to put some distance between he and Pete (Shoulder – his partner in the Union) and the Thunder legacy that dulls the edge? Maybe, well maybe not: it could just be the shift in chemistry.

 

Opening track ‘Watch the River Flow’ is simply amazing and sets up the vibe, it’s a faster paced rocker that works well as do ‘Step Up to the Plate’ and ‘You Know My Name’ which are similar and rock just as hard.

 

We get superior ballads in ‘Saviour’ or ‘This Time Next Year’ the latter being up there with Morley’s best work, though don’t expect a Thunder tear-jerker here, there’s a soulful, gospel tinge behind Pete Shoulder’s Chris Cornell-like vocals.

 

Elsewhere we get some purer blues: the gradually building ‘Black Monday’ offers a bluesy swing. There’s an Americana-flavour to the acoustic picking on both ‘Holy Roller’ and ‘Come Rain Come Shine’. If that floats your boat they sound authentic enough, if not rough enough around the edges to actually feet the dirt beneath your toes.

 

So what do we get? Modern and authentic blues rock. Equal parts Thunder and classic seventies English Rock, a side order of the Bowes-Morley more soulful sound and the wildcard talent of Pete Shoulder. Very near a perfect mix.

 

Mark