Doctor Who is in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest running science fiction television programme. Undoubtedly, the main reason for its success over almost 50 years has been its ability to reinvent itself (new Doctors, companions and monsters) yet keep the familiar (the TARDIS, Daleks, good vs evil). Change. And continuity. At the same time! A difficult act to pull off, I’m sure you’ll agree.
One musician who’s managed to pull the change/continuity rabbit out of the hat is Wilson Minds. Billing himself as a ‘new singer songwriter from Liverpool’ those of you who’ve had their fingers on the city’s musical pulse over recent years will instantly recognize the sound of Paul Wilkes. I don’t know where he’s been or what he’s been doing during his break, but on listening to his first EP, Face It Cracks, it’s been time well spent.
Title track Face It Cracks is a song that fans will know from previous recordings. Wilson Minds has taken the song and reinvented it, giving it a driving, hypnotic bassline, part of a fantastic, atmospheric, dirty blues treatment that is perfect for Wilson’s distinctive voice and so, so good to listen to. Think Louisiana. Think moody American road trip movie soundtrack. Think… oh forget it, I’m sure you get the picture. Just listen for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.
The new vibe represented by Face It Cracks sits comfortably alongside River Flowing, a song that sounds instantly familiar, the mark of an experienced songwriter. The third and final track Before is stripped back to just acoustic guitar and vocals and in its own way is as impressive as the first track.
The EP is inspired by timeless albums from the likes of Neil Young, Janis Joplin, and Bob Dylan, and described as a ‘spectacular melting-pot’. We’re promised more huge songs from a debut album later this year, and with Wilson Minds behind the steering wheel, and producer Chris Potter (The Verve, Blur, I Am Kloot) navigating from the passenger seat, the journey ahead is one to look forward to.
Graham Holland is the owner and editor of the Liverpool Acoustic website, and runs Liverpool Acoustic’s award-winning live music events with local musician Stuart Todd. In real life he’s a Web Development Officer, has been producing podcasts on a regular basis since July 2006, and runs a number of websites for other organisations. He lives in Wavertree with his husband and their cat Xiao Hei.