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Mentulls, The: Recipe For Change

Recipe For Change is the third release from British outfit The Mentulls, a band who previously have been making quite serious waves in the UK blues rock scene, albeit with a progressive edge. It would be easy to presume that their latest release’s title is making a comment on modern society but I’m guessing that it’s more to do with the direction this album finds the band heading in. Gone is much, if not all, of the blues material that has become The Mentulls’ calling card and in its place arrives what I’d describe as an 80s prog/pop hybrid, and if I was asked to pick out just one band it reminded me of, it would be Mike + The Mechanics.

Right from the opening staccato riff of “Easy To Walk Away”, there’s a “Living Years” feel that’s hammered home by some excellent, smooth vocals from newcomer David Neil Crabtree. It would be quite a stretch to suggest that this sound is still en vogue and yet, when did that matter? Because as album openers go, this is memorable, hook laden stuff.

The rest of the band is made up of founder members, the Pipe brothers - namely Andrew on guitar and Jamie on keyboards - while Crabtree is credited as not just the band’s singer, but a ‘multi-instrumentalist’. The latter, it has to be said reminds strongly of FM’s Steve Overland in the vocal department as the mid-paced UK AOR of the album’s title track kicks in. That in itself is a huge compliment and the material stacks up against such exalted company as well. However, this is reasonably varied fare, “Smoke And Mirrors” more akin to John Mitchell era It Bites with its gently progressive themes and a captivating guitar/keyboard solo which also kicks in a clever change of pace.

With an intriguing mix of accessibility and technical wizardry, “World Made Of Sound” adds a more soulful side to proceedings. Whereas, for me, it’s the urgency and intricate guitar lines of “Find A Way To This Journey’s End” that steals the limelight through a sparklingly clear sound and underlying urgency which in many ways underpins what can on first impressions feel like a much more sedate album than it actually is. And that too is a sentiment I carry towards this release as a whole, with Recipe For Change being quite relaxed in the way it slowly releases its inner beauty across repeat listens. In short, this album just gets better and better!

Track Listing
1. Easy To Walk Away
2. Recipe For Change
3. Opened My Eyes
4. Learning Through Living
5. Summit Fever
6. Saviour
7. Find A Way To This Journey’s End
8. Smoke & Mirrors
9. Worlds Made Of Sound

Added: December 2nd 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Mentulls online
Hits: 437
Language: english

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