Earthprayer - 'Nine Days' Hot
Written by Central Electronic Brain     January 21, 2012    
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A very pleasant discovery indeed.

Another band that fell in my lap to review was Earthprayer. Never heard of them? No, me neither. But trust me, I'm going to keep my eye on this London based outfit, so delighted was I with what I heard. Earthprayer is a four piece heavily influenced by acts like The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Deep Purple and other 70's luminaries. They have an excellent female singer in the form of Anglo-American Heidi Jo Hines, who instigated the start of the band with guitarist Ian Montlake when they met at an open mic night in Camden. It's refreshing to hear a cool story like that and Earthprayer have a similarly refreshing brand of excellent, retro tinged rock and roll.

'Civil War' is a very energetic opener with a terrific vocal from the big voiced Hines. The production is excellent for an independent release and the song itself is memorable after just one listen. The driving cover of the Stones' '2000 Light Years From Home' keeps the bar high and demands another play. The more laid back 'Cruel' allows Hines' commanding voice to take control, and if you're anything like me, you'll be sold on the album and the band by this point already. '747' is also worthy of note, a terrific rocker with a pulsating beat. The slightly quirkier 'Hallelujah' is the only one I'm not totally sold on, but it's by no means bad. The gentle 'Breakdown' features Hines flanked by some excellent acoustic guitar work, before 'Ain't Nothing' takes things back up a notch - this cracking track is my favourite on the album. I could bore you with descriptions of the rest of the songs, but take it from me, there is no filler here. The standard is exceptional for a debut record. Literally the only criticism I could level at them is there is no track listing on the case, just a picture of the band on the back, so I had to keep referring to the inlay book to learn the track names. Hardly the biggest of concerns!

As I listened to it, Earthprayer reminded me very much of someone, and it occurred to me that I was likening them to the excellent Saint Jude, another band I discovered purely by chance due to the random nature of review assignments. The more I think about it, the more the two bands compliment each other. If you like what Saint Jude do, you'll love Earthprayer. If you've never heard Saint Jude, but you like Humble Pie, Faces style seventies rock with a contemporary vibe, check this group out. A very pleasant discovery indeed!

James Gaden

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