Album Review: UNDER A BANNER – THE WILD PLACES

I have always had a penchant for music that grabs you emotionally, spiritually, ethereally and takes you on a lyrical journey cloaked in an aural soundstage to signpost the road ahead. Under A Banner have a rich tapestry of such voyages with myself an eager passenger as they unfurl their Folk Rock banner across previously self-funded releases, so the news early in the year that the band had signed to Bad Elephant Music, and that there would be a third studio album to come in the autumn has had me devouring any morsel of news released on its progress.  And now the waiting is over……….

And that wait most certainly was not in vain.

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The Wild Places is certain to exceed the expectations of even the most demanding existing Under A Banner fans whilst attracting a whole host of new admirers. If you gravitate towards the New Model Army or Levellers sphere of rock, that rousing, foot-stomping, Celtic tinged folk rock, then Under A Banner have gift-wrapped an almighty feast of music for you to savour.

Under the supremely talented Mastering of Jon Astley, he of Zeppelin, Stones, Who etc etc etc fame, the band seem tighter than ever but also more adventurous, more focused. There is a sublime interweaving of melody lines throughout The Wild Places that spiral ever higher, creating a spotlight from which singer Adam Broadhurst holds you in the palm of his hand while he eloquently regales you with tales of loss, of hope, or grabs you firmly by the collar and reels you around the floor, heart thumping, voices roaring out in unison an ode to the fight ahead in impassioned tones, imploring those watching to join in. That is what excites me about Under A Banner. This is music to make memories to with a room, a field, a stadium of like-minded folk giving everything you have.

This is an album to participate in, to revel in, to rebel against the grayness to. To reveal its heart you only need to listen.

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Standout tracks? You may as well just run the track list! Each will entice, enthrall, entwine in their own way but if pushed I would say LEGION is a classic in the making, the opening track In The End is the purest essence of everything that is Under A Banner along with the closing track, World of Hope but the penultimate track, Already There has huge hit written across every stave, every emotional word from a melancholy lament of exploration and revelation.

Special mention to Isaac Collier for the hauntingly beautiful cello on the opening track In The End and track eleven, Already There.  Take a bow sir.

Adam, Tim, Si, Jake and Kat have produced a beautifully textured album that is absolutely deserving of a 10/10 InbetweenTheScreams rating.



This album is waiting for you. Go and buy it. NOW!!

 


UNDER A BANNER is:

Adam Broadhurst – acoustic guitar and lead vocals
Tim Wilson – drums, percussion and vocals
Si Hill – bass
Jake Brooks – guitar and vocals
Kat Davis – keyboards and piano

The Wild Places credits:

Recorded at Park Studios JQ, Birmingham, England between March and June 2016.
Produced by Alastair Jamieson and Under A Banner
Engineered and mixed by Alastair Jamieson
Assistant Engineer – Dan Williams
Edited by Dan Williams
Mastered by Jon Astley from Close To The Edge

Cover artwork by Susan Omand
Logos, branding and design by John Williamson.


You can pre-order/order THE WILD PLACES via the bands record label BAD ELEPHANT MUSIC:   HERE

and you can find out more about the band, check out future gigs and order merch via their website : HERE

and you should definitely follow them on Twitter: HERE

or Facebook: HERE

or check out their YouTube channel: HERE

Trust me, you will WANT this album in your collection!!


As always, Retweets, Likes, Shares, Comments, gold bars always appreciated!

Cheers

Gary

 

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