Album Review – The John Michie Collective – High Vibrations

The JMC are someone that have been on my radar for a while now, just because the name is interesting and echoes such artists as The Spencer Davis Group and of course The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Well this full named artist isn’t a group, it’s just the main man John’s solo recording tag.

Anyway John sent me the album to listen to and give my critique, so what is it?

Well in a nutshell if Tame Impala were from a Northern England council estate I’d expect them to sound like this.

It’s like an anti space age Noel Gallagher album, if he teamed up with The Strokes. It’s the astral twin of the recent Teenage Waitress album. It’s also echoes Pink Floyd or late era Beatles.

It’s Wonky Pop (I’ve just invented that).

Kicking off with the instrumental Mothership, it’s the bastard son of NG’s Fort Knox, it’s menacing and a great opener.

First proper song is Beautiful Day with its Wonky guitars, like an acoustic Strokes song covered by The Beatles. It’s really rather good.

Wish you were dead continues with more Wonky (sorry) piano and Beatleish Revolution type guitar riffs. It’s my favourite off the album. Should be a single please Mr JMC.

Nothing to die for is a slower type ballad where John comes over all Bobby Gillespie whilst the track build and builds. The lyric nothing to live for/nothing to die for sticks in your mind for a long time.

The album is peppered throughout with samples that rekindles thoughts of the great Depth Charge who used samples to great effect in the early 90’s. It gives the album a cinematic/soundtrack feel. Something David Holmes likes to do.

The song The ballad of John Wayne is like a glam rock stomper with surf guitars, gun samples and ends with country guitar style and harmonica, it’s really cool.

John really pushes himself musically throughout the album akin to what Teenage Waitress is doing but this is darker and moodier. Sitars, Banjos, oriental sounding guitars are used and tracks like Take you home and Escape from San Francisco brought back memories of those other Wonky pop maestro’s Mercury Rev.

However its Pink Floyd that influence this album throughout and the final few tracks I’ll write your constellation and Astral projection bring the dark side of the moon into view, but with strings, beats and Gilmore guitars.

Overall it’s an accomplished brave debut and is very different to what else is out there and it’s certainly out there but no less interesting for it. John is confident in what he wants to sound like and that comes through on all the songs.

There is certainly a place for this type of music and with the likes of Pocket Lint digging a similar furrow, it’s an exciting time for innovative musicians and I look forward to see how it’s received.

So set the controls for the heart of the moon, coz The JMC are coming into land.

For fans of Tame Impala, Noel Gallagher, Pink Floyd, Death in Vegas.

Let me know what you think.

The Album is released on the 12th February an available to stream from all well known sites but if you can please purchase a download of the album and help musicians.

Peace n Love

Michael

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