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Ursine Princes: Lost Plunder

One of two albums under the radar Welsh rockers Ursine Princes released in 2012, Lost Plunder is indeed an undiscovered treasure trove of pulsating, energetic gems. If the other album the band released that year, Ladies & Gentlemen Winslow P Fufkin's The Jamboree Is Proud To Present The Incredible Ursine Princes New Fangled Compact Disc (yes, really…) hinted that these prince of bears were on to something special, Lost Plunder delivers it in spades. Everywhere you turn Alan Kelly (guitars), Phil Jones (drums), Grant Nicholas (guitars and vocals) and David Morgan (bass) provide captivating, confident journeys that take you to a variety of destinations and emotions. The track titles hinting at a voyage that whisks us round the world, leaving loved ones, yet discovering so much more.

Many bands are caught out by the mid-paced rocker, that most simple of things often leaden and tired, yet with "The Fall & Rise Of A Barbary Corsair", Ursine Princes show they can take a beautiful acoustic guitar introduction and vocal, and weave it into a structure of real potent force. That it never feels the need for bombast or bluster proves the class we're dealing with here – and one that with the correct exposure could take these Princes to a more mainstream success. However the clever way that the sound of the wind segues the song into the atmospheric swirl of "Abu Kir" allows things to change tack, while still retaining the feel of a continuous journey; a less strutting, pouting Zeppelin push and pull given room to breathe by knowing exactly when to back off and when to go for the throat. With the good time recounting rocker "Amsterdamned" giving in to temptation, the introspective but still outward looking "Rain All Day" a melancholic celebration of love and the proud proclamation of "The Mean Ole Ghost Of Stagger Lee" a pounding stomp of authority, Lost Plunder knows exactly how to cover each and every one of the rock n roll bases.

Although they would appear to have been created not long apart, guitar plays a much stronger role on Lost Plunder than it does on Ladies & Gentlemen…, Kelly and Nicholas really taking all the songs by the scruff of the neck, as Jones lays down a Bonhamesque thump of authority. A feature that makes the closing, untitled '10' a glorious display of wailing frets, soaring voice and belting bottom end. I'm not always a fan of 'hidden' tracks, but if they all sounded like this, I soon would be!

Unfortunately we haven't heard anything from Ursine Princes since their pair of searing 2012 albums quietly slipped into being and along with (as covered in my Ladies & Gentlemen… review) a decidedly low key online presence, it all amounts to a band who deserve to be receiving accolades from all quarters, sitting in the space marked unknown. If you have a love for soaring rock from a vintage era that sounds as current as any new fangled genre could hope to, set sail and go in search of Lost Plunder. I can assure you Ursine Princes will provide all the riches your heart could ever desire.


Track Listing
1. Song for Kate
2. The Mean Ole Ghost of Stagger Lee
3. Into the Deep
4. Rain All Day
5. Silks of Araby
6. Amsterdamned
7. The Fall and Rise of a Barbary Corsair
8. Abu Kir
9. Goodbye, Farewell

Added: October 22nd 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Lost Plunder at Caerllysi Music
Hits: 1170
Language: english

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