Paul Lewis – Faster Than The Sound Of Speed – EP Review

My apologies to Paul Lewis and yourself as this has been languishing in my inbox since prior to the release of Faster Than The Sound Of Speed which was made available on the 29th January.

Paul Lewis - Faster Than The Sound Of Speed - EP review

Paul Lewis

Those of more curious thought may recognise Paul Lewis from the English band Priory Jones And The Mission, Faster Than The Speed Of Sound is an alt-rock solo EP.

Opening the eighteen minutes release is Never Gonna Be Free, which has a retro ’60s mersey-beat to it, to which a fuzzy synth has been over-layed, that has the effect of slowing down the piece giving it a spectral presence that drifts around the room in hazy flows of sound.

Everybody’s Gotta Reason comes next which is my pick of the release, as a heavier percussion pummels its way around the room, to which the heart finds itself matching tempo as the guitar joins in the pace, whilst a superb vocal cuts a swathe across the landscape as notes and reaches are hit pitch-perfectly by the voice as a medley of synthesised choir gives the track its defining presence.  Four and a half minutes that you just want to extend further in time.

Following is Show Me, a luscious blend of synth-wave and rock combinations which again is hazed, whilst the vocal threads between sharp clarity and gauzy veils. Paul Lewis is able to deliver this rolling flow of mutation and sparkle without it ever seeming forced and the mind is drawn to thoughts of surf ebbing and flowing on the shoreline. A cleverly composed piece of music, which captures much in its brevity of just under three minutes.

The closing track, is also the longest, running at a couple of seconds below six and a half minutes – Thinking It Over reminds me of one of a song previously featured Tim as Paul Lewis imbues the piece with a rolling tempo with a busy vocal narrative that gives the track an inherent urgency, whilst the instrumentation flows expansively and again rather than sounding discordant and indulgent it is perfectly pitched and the listener finds themselves drifting into a capsule in which time stands still.

Whilst each track is somewhat different to one-another Faster Than The Speed Of Sound does not leave the audience feeling they have been listening to a random selection of tracks as when taken as a whole there is a natural progress which takes the mind from the retrospective to the future.

There are two additional tracks on the Deluxe Version of the EP with a slightly different track order.

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Faster Than the Sound of Speed (Deluxe Version) – EP – Paul Lewis is available on iTunes.*

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Priory Jones And The Mission – makes a musical response to my thoughts

Priory Jones And The Mission who I reviewed back in October kindly wrote a song about how much I annoy them.

Priory Jones And The Mission - Keep Your Mouth Shut Tim

Priory Jones And The Mission – Keep Your Mouth Shut Tim

I ask for a moment of your time with this one – as it is a circular composition. After my review and subsequent thread of personal conversation I found that there was a band who took the time to respond to my thoughts in song.

It somehow seems churlish not to post the thoughts of Priory Jones And The Mission with their response to my comments.

A song of value, with a diatribe sharply focused within an ever narrowing funnel as the instrumental swirls around like the flow of water into a bath plug. The eviscerating vocal distils from the ethers of the eddies of the whirlpool, ever drawing the ears inwards until the conclusion, which, discards the extraneous external postulations.

Priory Jones And The Mission demonstrate their ability to create commentary, in a track which is far from their home territory and I look forward to when they head back to the home-straight, as ‘Tim’ demonstrates these are song-writers able to deliver pin-point relevant compositions.

A quartet of musicians with much to offer to the world of music and long may they continue to paint the images which they see.

My advice – Keep with Priory Jones And The Mission, regardless of their antagonism towards this website and this editor.

I will now do as suggested – ‘Keep Your Mouth Shut Tim’.

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Priory Jones and The Mission

Priory Jones and The Mission an alt-indie band from Mansfield in England is Priory Jones (Vocals / Guitar / Keyboard), Ryan Flynn ( Guitar / Vocals), Daniel Kinton (Bass) and Bill Alex Charleston King (Percussion).

Priory Jones and The Mission - alt indie from England

Priory Jones and The Mission

Heading like a mole under the soil, Priory Jones and The Mission suddenly build a breathing space in the middle of the lawn that demands attention. This is a band with which to tarry a while.

Immediately resonating inside the tympanic membrane, the quintet reminds me of a quivering feather-tail as the guitars strut, whilst behind a sharp cutting percussion slices away. The bass meanders off to angles of division which gives the instrumentation its incisive protrusions and holding it all together is a necklace of reverbed vocal. The electronics add even more interest to the sound bringing an early ’80s influence to the context.

Priory Jones and The Mission are deft exponents of delay and this is what raises the material above the throng. On live performance, it will work, as long as the sound engineer has a handle on it and I hope they have the front to demand what they need, else it won’t resonate.

Turn up your delay and echo even further than the quartet have managed on recording and you will find a sublime space in which to watch the earth being turned.

I stumbled across Priory Jones and The Mission via a management connection through ScenicLife – thanks Michelle.

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