General Lee - 'General Lee'

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 13, 2018    
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For an independent release, and one which was recorded live, this is an album that is deserving of one's attention.

Before I start, I want to place on record that I'm not the biggest fan of Southern Rock. So, when I find that the latest album up for review is from that particular genre, and then also find out it's played by a group of Singaporean origin... well, a sense of foreboding came over me. However, my taste in music is, I like to think, fairly catholic so with that in mind I dipped my toe somewhat tentatively into the musical world of General Lee.

What we get are ten songs that, broadly speaking, fit in with the Southern Rock sound and pretty authentic it is too. It's all very well played, with a certain exuberance and vitality to it all, and with some real grit too. Opener 'Redhill Remorse' fairly stomps along with, on occasion, an Aerosmith swagger to it. From there on in the album stays on track. Being from Singapore, the band have cleverly incorporated tales of folklore from their part of the world into the soundtrack of seventies-influenced American Southern Rock; from the Country-tinged 'Opium Hill' to the slightly Honky-Tonk tones of 'No Place For The Blues', we even get the band laying down some Funk with 'Gotta Getcha' where they insist we get our "mojo" working!

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Listening to this album you'd be forgiven for thinking that vocalist Lin is from the United States. He's obviously well versed in the vocal techniques of bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers – his performance is most impressive. The rest of the band more than play their part too, with some delightful banjo and mandolin as well as electric playing from lead guitarist Victor with the rhythm section of Isaac and Ken (no surnames for these guys) being tight and on the money. Best song? Well, that's the lengthy 'Saigon Girl' which is a smouldering and atmospheric epic topped off with a suitably scintillating guitar solo.

I have been genuinely surprised by this release and more than happy to have any preconceptions blown out of the water. For an independent release, and one which was (according to the sleeve notes) recorded live, this is an album that is deserving of one's attention. Nice one!

Malcolm Smith

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