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Bruntnell, Peter: Nos Da Comrade

Often classed, it would seem, as one of England's best kept secrets, I have to admit that Peter Bruntnell has been exactly that to me for the last twenty years… a secret. His music may not fall square bang-thunk in my musical wheelhouse, but still, it's a surprise that two decades and ten previous albums can slip by without a whisper. Either this guy is as quiet as a mouse tucked deep in your trouser pocket, or he simply isn't up to snuff…

Well brown and furry he must be and covered in the fluff that only can be found deep under your finger nails after a deep rummage, for his latest effort, recorded in 2015 but released this year, Nos Da Comrade, is a thing of British Americana-pop beauty. Maybe we should call it Britiana? Maybe not… What it is however, is captivating, from the heart and hugely memorable. Nothing here is forced, not the pace, not the mood, not the sentiment, and certainly not the vocals. However you're left with something strangely insistent when the gentle strum and voice of "Long Way From Home" lands somewhere between Tom Petty and Del Amitri. While "Long Way Down From A Cloud" (Peter would appear to quite a long way from a few things – sadly fame and fortune being one) infuses a little more energy and a nudging, winking keyboard line (and castanets – I kid you not!) into the mix to remind of the much missed Cosmic Rough Riders.

As everyone does, Bruntnell also has a song called "Yuri Gagarin" on his album, a deep, grungy Neil Young vibe kicking in, and while this singer doesn't make up new notes to mangle as his tale unfolds, the inspiration is clear and welcome. It's eight, nearly nine minutes of rough shod beauty that you know cleans up well, but you'd rather leave all rusty and worn. A tremendous cover of Status Quo's "Caroline" closes the album out – don't be daft, no it's not, but I was living in hope… Instead the poised, heartfelt "Caroline" that gently wafts towards you leaves you heartbroken and uplifted. A strange combination that had me drying my nose and blowing my eyes, which you better believe is a sight to behold.

Deep inside Nos Da Comrade there's a 60s pop-jangle-heart (which sounds like the hobo under the bridge… "Have you seen Pop Jangleheart??? He's a crazy old coot!"), "Rainstars" a melancholy sing along and "Mr Sunshine" fitting a fixed grin under his jaunty angled hat. Although it's the so hook laden, people have started hanging their hearts on it, "Peak Operational Condition" that has you inwardly punching the air and waiting to mumble the words under your breath. After all, nothing says summer time hit of the year like the title to an Automotive Self Help book does it?

Go on, get out there and buy Nos Da Comrade and make Peter Bruntnell a household name. I'm sure he'd hate all the attention and champagne fuelled parties that would come next, but then, why should he have all the fun?

Track Listing
1. Mr Sunshine 
2. End of the World
3. Rainstars 
4. Yuri Gagarin 
5. Dance of the Dead 
6. Where the Snakes Hang Out 
7. Fishing the Flood Plain 
8. Peak Operational Condition 
9. Long Way from Home 
10. Long Way Down from a Cloud 
11. Caroline

Added: June 4th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Peter Bruntnell online
Hits: 1600
Language: english

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