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Rob St John – Weald (Song, by Toad)

4 stars
Forget the much misused F(olk)-word. Rob St John is miles better than such lazy reference points,
and putting a full electric band behind his whey-faced Lancastrian
intonations has put muscle and guts on his musings. Yet for all the
low-key chorales, musical saws and string-laden back-woods baroque
pulsing his full-length debut’s eight songs, it's St John’s increasingly
forceful mix of melancholy and other-worldly rapture that counts. At
the record’s core is the slow burning eruption of Sargasso Sea and the slash and burn revelation of Domino. If the late Nick Drake and another old Nick’s Bad Seeds ever hitch up at some
rural English crossroads, this is what such an unlikely clash of souls
might sound like.

ends

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