Having grabbed attention at the 2014 Reading and Leeds Festivals, John J. Presley has spent the last 12 months capitalising on the exposure, including a support slot earlier this year to Kill It Kid. This extended play, 'White Ink', was recorded in an eight hour session at Toe Rag Studios with The White Stripes cohort Liam Watson.
The decision to record these tracks as a live performance results in something of a lo-fi production, but even this cannot disguise the growl of Presley's vocals, which is the most unique feature of this work. To describe it as raspy would be putting it mildly; if sound could be used to sand down wood then this would be top of the line. The voice is backed by bluesy rock, heavy on the likes of 'Come Calling', but also able to adapt to a milder tone on 'Sweet Superstition', while fuzzy guitar distortion is a favoured effect throughout. The slow build to 'Ill At Ease' asks for too much patience given the payoff that arrives, something that is indicative of a quintet of tracks that fail to truly inspire at any point.
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'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.